No matter who you are, at some point in your life, you will find yourself feeling sad, or anxious, or even depressed. I was talking with a friend the other day, saying, "I feel like a fraud! I wrote a book on how to be happy, and I am NOT happy today." She pointed out, "No one is happy ALL the time, that's scary!" I realized that the human experience is about all of us, and that includes emotions of all kinds. As we interact with people and circumstances around us, there will always be challenges and obstacles. That is the nature of life, and the entire human experience. The difference between being happy, or sad, or anything else, is in how you handle it. Do you allow one experience to ruin your day? Do you allow one person to make your life miserable? This is an important distinction. When someone cuts you off in traffic, do you scream and yell and stay mad for an hour? Do you call a friend and vent to them about it? Or, do you have a little anger flare up and then let it go? I have noticed, that in the past year, my newfound contentment has allowed me to let things go much more quickly. I don't stay in the hurt as long. A recent painful experience with another person caused me to shed a few tears and feel very hurt. But, I was able to meditate and release the negativity, therefore, allowing me to process what happened, and even though I am still very sad about it, I am not storing it inside my body and feeding off the hurt it caused. I now have the ability to move through it, get under it, and use it as a lesson.
Most of us are moving through life, balanced on a tenuous thread of emotion. A lot of us have experienced so much pain that we have become bitter and cynical. What we don't realize is that we have become the very thing that hurt us in the beginning. We sit atop our castle of pain, with a sniper rifle, waiting for the next person who comes along. As soon as they do anything that could be construed as offensive, BAM! They are now the enemy, and we can proclaim to all the world that we have slain another "bad person."
The problem with this is that we do not give anyone a chance to get past that gate, because we are too afraid to trust. We exist behind our pain, and it is very lonely. We are "safe", but at what cost? Do you really want to live your life in pain? The only way to get past this hurdle is to start taking chances, and come down from your perch. As hard as it is, you must slowly start to trust that not every single person is out to get you. A couple of years ago, I was in this place. I had been so hurt and betrayed that I didn't even trust myself to talk to people. So, I became withdrawn and isolated. I built up walls to protect myself, and I healed. In the recent year, I had to force myself to smile at people. At first, it felt fake. But gradually, people began to respond positively, and I expanded into talking to people. Now, I can smile and speak to strangers without any fear. Sometimes, people are still rude and hateful, but they are the exception. Most people will treat you the way you treat them. And this is where I want to live.
Wishing you all the very best of holidays! Say Hello to someone new today:)