I recently came accross a quote and posted it on my instagram because it resonated so much with me. That’s the quote below.
Healing is accomplished the moment we no longer see value in our pain.
The reason why it resonated so much is because it reminded me just how much our culture is engrained in pain and suffering but most of all, how much I WAS attached to my own pain and suffering. And the thing is, I wasn’t even aware of it for the first 30 years of my life. I never realised just how much I held onto my pain and suffering and how much I was shutting out joy and happiness from my life. The other thing is that most people do this too.
But there are reasons why we do this.
1- we don’t realise how ingrained pain and suffering are into our lives (we are often raised to believe that life is hard, unfair, that you have to compete, fight and be tough to ‘survive’ which inevitably normalises hardship, pain and suffering)
2-we don’t believe we can do much about it (because well we have no control over life)
Those two seemingly simple beliefs are what cause us so much grief and suffering…until we can shift our perspective.
I can hear you say, ‘yes but there ARE a lot of terrible things happening in the world, of course we are bound to feel pain and to suffer’ and that is true. to some extent. What is also true is that our purpose whilst on this planet IS to experience joy and ease. If we would only allow ourselves that.
I hold a different perspective. One that I definely did NOT use to have a few years back.
The perspectiv that happiness is a choice.
The first time I heard this, I did not understand it, even more, I did not AGREE with it. How on earth was happiness a choice when things in my life were not happening the way I needed them to happen, and when circumstances, events and people were definetly NOT the way i decided they should.
And that’s exactly my point. It took me a couple of years before i really GOT, the meaning of that statement,
happiness is a choice.
And one day, (over time, it was not an aha moment for me) I got it. I AM responsible for my own happiness.NO.MATTER.WHAT.
it doesn’t matter what drama happens on tv, at work, with friends, even family. What matters is that we continue to shine light where there is darkness.
You do not fight darkness with darkness, you disolve darkness with light.
It’s all much more simple than we want it to be. What I know now is that when we are happy and in our joy, we radiate a light, we shine our light, we inspire, we encourage others, we add and bring light where there is none sometimes, and light is contagious.
What is the point of suffering together? what happens is that when we suffer a lot, we also tend to no longer want to suffer and thus we start looking for a different way of being in our lives. We start CHOOSING something different.
The truth is we need not suffer to get to that point, we could also choose to travel along our earth journey in joy and ease. Which was my point previously.
HOW can we have joy and ease in a world that is so full of suffering?
the answer is straight forward. we can do so by focusing on US. Not by focusing on what anyone else is doing but ourselves. Here are a few ideas on how to bring more joy and ease into your everyday life:
-write down or say out loud at least 3 things for which you are grateful for
-spend time at least once a day doing something you LOVE whatever that is
-say something nice to at least 3 people
-smile to at least 3 people for no reasons
but these things are easy when everything is going well. What about when things are not going so well?
the answer in those instances will come down to one single question.
How much do you actually want to be happy?
You might say, ‘of COURSE i want to be happy, everyone wants to be happy’ but though that is true on a very deep level, the truth is that a LOT of people also want to hold onto their drama and trauma. A lot of people find comfort, in pain and suffering.
the reason we want to develop the habit of being happy and joyful when all is well is so that when it’s not we already have a strong foundation. Our happiness muscle is already there and less effort is required in those circumstances.
So how can you ‘feel’ happy when ‘all’ is not well in the world?
Ways that you can invite joy and happiness in those times is to take it one little step at a time. First and foremost is to acknowledge the pain. acknowledging how we feel is so important BECAUSE when we acknowledge how we feel, we are acknoledging the self. We are giving ourselves, the love and attention that we require in that moment. And then after you have acknowledged and felt what you need to feel, do one small thing, however small to feel better.
if you can focus on one single thing everyday that makes you feel good, you WILL feel happier and more joyful over time. These last two words are important because we tend to want to get rid of the pain NOW. We want quick fixes. We don’t want to do the work. We just want someone else to be accountable.
But it doesn’t work that way. No one else can be accountable for our own joy and happiness.
The easiest way i found to feel joy and happiness, is to express gratitude for the things we have.
How many things you have that you no longer can stand but that you had prayed for? Can you remember how it felt when you first had these things?