Have you ever met someone who hated the sound of a balloon popping? When I was younger, I had a friend who hated it. So naturally as a young boy, I would always pop balloons around him. Finally, he told me one day that he had blown a balloon up until it exploded in his face and that is why he was scared of the sound. I felt bad, but of course I still kept popping balloons around him.
As trivial as this story may seem, I think a lot of people have experienced something similar to a balloon popping in their face. I know one of my biggest struggles in life is holding thoughts, feelings, and ideas inside my head until one day they explode. Just like the balloon, I can keep filling up my head and heart until there is no more room and then…pop.
There are a lot of side effects to holding in your thoughts and feelings. A main one is being passive-aggressive. Instead of communicating what we are thinking or feeling, we can try to indirectly address the unresolved issue through comments, attitudes, and actions. Another effect is feeling isolated. When we fail to communicate what is going on inside of us, it can be easy to feel alone. We can develop this me vs. the world attitude and instead of looking for allies, we have already identified people as enemies. Finally, we can explode on the people we love the most.
Maybe our hesitancy to share stems from some wound in our past that has resulted in serious trust issues. Maybe we think we can handle it on our own. Others may think it’s a sign of weakness to admit they are struggling. Regardless of our personal barrier to expressing ourselves, the healthiest thing we could do is let the air out of the balloon. Do not leave it to chance. Be intentional each day about letting some of the air out. Be intentional each day and share how you feel and what you think. Find the people who care about you the most and let them into your life. Do not wait another day, as the balloon gets bigger. It just takes one choice and one conversation to free you from the thoughts and feelings that are weighing you down.
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”
– Proverbs 11:14