Walking Up The Down Escalator


Walking Up The Down Escalator

I spent the other evening trying to ‘encourage’ a friend. I wasn’t trying to cheer them up so much as helping them to see themselves as other people see them – which is a lot more positively than they see themselves.

It…. Was……. Hard……………….. Work………………………………

Meditating on this in the bath, I remembered an important lesson I’d temporarily forgotten. This is that people have a bank ledger when it comes to the positives and the negatives in their lives. If they have far more deposits in the negative ledger, it takes a lot of positive inputs to balance the books. You can be positive with them, but it is totally unrealistic to expect a positive response for a long time – there’s just too much of a deficit to clear.

I’ve heard this is the case with ‘Rescue’ dogs – they take a long time to trust their new owners, but then become fiercely loyal and protective of them… whilst maintaining a distrust of strangers.

It reminded me of how some people describe debt: like trying to walk up a down escalator.

Many of my Bi-Polar friends, like me, are in debt. We have had an abundance of negative investment in our lives. We’re on the down escalator hoping to get back at least to the level.

I don’t say this in any kind of ‘Sob Story’ way – just plain accounting – we’ve had more negatives than positives.  These are in the emotional bank account – I’m not talking about the concrete things in life – food, shelter, clothing – in these aspects we are rich.

So here’s my word of encouragement. Be gentle with yourself. If someone is kind to you and you don’t feel able to respond, realise that it is at least a step up the down escalator. Lock onto that positivity and look out for more. The rest is pure maths. Get sufficient positives in and you will get to the top of that down escalator back onto the level.

Then, you might just find the up escalator… and that’s a lot of fun.


Do you remember being told to, “Walk!  Don’t Run!”?

I’m going to encourage you to be disobedient.

Run up that down escalator… across the level floor… then up the up escalator.

Life’s too short to be down.

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