I’m a bubble blower. Not bubblegum bubbles so much – a history of TMJ keeps me away from gum most of the time. No, I blow wild, sparkly, multicolored bubbles of imaginary design that have the power to lift me right out of dread, fear, and doubt.
At any given moment I have conversation bubbles, dream scenario bubbles, future planning bubbles, wishing bubbles, and faith bubbles floating around my head. Those bubbles are my escape from the mundane and dreary, from the pain and disappointment that frequently accompanies reality.
I’m no Pollyanna. Left to myself, I tend toward pessimism … that nasty ability to turn a weather forecast for partly cloudy skies into, “It’s probably going to rain, I’m not even going to go.” I think that’s why God gave me bubble-blowing grace – to counteract those Eeyore-style personality traits. (Did it ever occur to you that Eeyore is an ass? Was E.E. Milne trying to tell us something?)
Not everyone has bubble-blowing grace. Some people, probably the more naturally optimistic and sunny among us, don’t need bubbles. They have other methods of coping with life’s difficulties, like denial and avoidance.
My bubbles are necessary. Whether it’s a bubble I’ve created in my own mind or a book bubble or a great movie bubble or an afternoon with a like-minded bubble-blowing buddy, I need that place of escape. Without them, I’m worse than any Eeyore.
Sharing my bubbles with others is not always wise. Because of that irresistible urge to pop them. Unfortunately, that’s one of the weaknesses of bubble creation, that desire to share said bubble with others.
“Lookie here! Hey, look at this one!” We mumble from behind a bobbling pink shell. Invariably, someone will pop that bubble and chuckle as it deflates, leaving our faces covered with sticky pink goo. I’ve done it to others, and had it done to me. We cover our bubble-popping propensity with phrases like, “I just don’t want you to get your hopes up and be disappointed,” or “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”
Here’s the question I want to ask myself the next time I’m tempted to pop someone’s bubble “for his or her own good.” Who am I to be judge, jury, and executioner for their bubbles? Besides, if I pop ’em, I’m probably going to be stuck helping them clean up the mess it leaves behind.
I think I want to start leaving other people’s bubbles alone, no matter how absurdly humongous they seem, or how amusing it would be to burst the thing. In turn, I’m going to start keeping my bubbles to myself a little more, especially the ones that are important for my physical, mental, and emotional health.
No one needs to know why I’m drifting along with a smile on my face. And if I let those bubbles get big enough, I might just be able to scoop up someone else who’s down in the pit until they discover their own bubble-blowing ability!