So here you are flowing down the river of life. You have experienced all the emotions that come with living and loving, been hurt and intentional or not, may have hurt others. You have lost people you love whether through the ebb and flow of relationships or the reality of someone who has been taken too soon.
All of these have created who you are. They have left an imprint on your heart. There are marks of happy times filled with love and joy but there is also pain and heartbreak and those are things that you would rather not bring to awareness again.
But it is precisely those painful times that can help keep us in the flow of happiness.
Losing someone we love is painful but we can use that loss to enhance appreciation for the people that remain in our lives and as leverage to make our relationships deeper and more meaningful. Witnessing someone who is ill should make us appreciate being well, but instead we refuse to keep it close, fearing it will just be too painful, and so we go running away from the pain attempting to keep it at a safe distance.
We precariously walk down the road of our life that is littered with thorns choosing to forget how painful they are to step on, but if we could remain mindful then each step we take without pain can be cause for celebration.
As most of you know I keep a file of tragic and heartbreaking stories on my computer and refer to them often. It allows me perspective on life and helps me see that all events even those that happen to others can have a lasting impact on my being. It is not to punish or cause me unnecessary self inflicted pain but to use to enhance all of the days I am alive.
I think often of people I love, those I have lost and those very painful memories are what are what I keep in my heart. They allow me to remain keenly aware how lucky I am to have those I love still here with me and I make certain to show my love to them and tell them often.
It is precisely the acceptance of sadness and the awareness that life is fragile that allows me to live fully in each moment I am here. It allows me to choose to appreciate everyone and everything without conditions.
This is something you can do too.
Remember a couple weeks ago when we talked about moving under the surface of the water to the calm? This is the place that you need to move to. It is a place you can feel safe and allow your mind to touch the sadness that will allow you to feel deeply.
You do not need to relive the event but simply remind yourself that even though things are not perfect they could be so much worse. Feeling grateful and blessed allows you to overlook a lot of things that would normally bother you.
Many people who have been seriously ill say that they never felt more alive. This is what we are trying to achieve without having to be diagnosed with a serious illness or having our days numbered to motivate us to live joyfully each and every day of our beautiful lives.
So today try to recall a story or circumstance that you can use to bring gratitude to your day. Allow it to touch your heart and mind and then use it as leverage for your own gratitude and happiness today.
Then allow yourself to pass through the darkness, understanding that it is the darkness that can help us live with joy and happiness in the light.