Can we learn through joy instead of fear?

Yesterday during my journaling, I briefly revisited an old injury. Not the physical kind, but an invisible pain that results from sadness about the past. This old pain popped up in my automatic writing and as I wrote through it I found that I was having some new insights about it.

As I write this a day later, I can’t even recall what the sadness was about. I mean, I could take a stab that it was caused by remembering one of the people in my life that I’ve lost, or maybe some regret over opportunities missed. But as I’m always saying, the journaling helped me process that pain, and after a year of daily writing (three pages, long-hand, stream-of-consciousness) I’m dealing with those bouts of sadness so much better.

Everyone has something that they’re sad about, and who wouldn’t like a tool for helping to ameliorate the process, to help heal the hurt?

Unless, of course, they are addicted to the injury.

I think problem addiction is a major stumbling block to moving forward in our lives and to dealing with the sh*t that invariably flies at times. If we’re not actively working on ourselves, we can get so attached to our dramas that they too often develop a life of their own.

I had a client years ago who came to me for grief counseling. She had kidney failure and had just received news that she was next on the list for a new kidney. She was devastated by the loss of her partner only three weeks earlier, to kidney disease. They had met during their daily dialysis. All her friends were on dialysis. She was considering turning down the kidney.

This is a dramatic example of what can happen when we identify with our problems. We become the victim.

I was able to help her with the grief in the short term, but she never came to see me again. I don’t know what her final decision was.

Given the same quandary, what decision would you make?

Only a year before I met with this lady, I was struggling with seriously ill health and huge personal problems, when my sweet, goofy husband was killed in a car accident. We were both 22 and had been married just 9 weeks.

I empathised so deeply with this lady. When we’re in the middle of an earth-shattering event, we try to hold onto what we know. In that moment, would I have chosen to be with him, given the opportunity?

Even in my darkest times, I was fortunate to have people around me and access to therapy. I was at my lowest point one day when a friend arrived out of the blue with her new puppy. Another time, my brother made me dinner, my sister-in-law cleaned my house. Little simple acts of kindness that helped more than anyone could know.

But on a daily basis, it was me who picked myself up and kept moving. I could have given up, but I decided to keep going. I decided to make the most of the time I had and live enough for the two of us. Through constant trial and error, eventually, my health improved with a combo deal of surgery and natural medicine. I moved away from my hometown and the source of most of the dramas and forged a new life for myself. I copped flak from people who felt I should have played the widow but I didn’t have time to worry about what people thought. I had a life to live!

I am so blessed today, nearly 25 years later, to have an incredible life. I’ve been very lucky. I think about that gorgeous, goofy man most days. I get sad sometimes that he missed out on so much living.

Reflecting yesterday about whatever it was that cropped up, I found myself being so grateful for the work I’ve done on myself over the years. We have to do the work – the shitshow isn’t going to stop – we are going to have things thrown at as all the time, and if we’re not actively dealing with it, through meditation, journaling, prayer, therapy, whatever… then the shit-barrel is going to get mighty full…

All this leads me back to my headline…why can’t we learn our damn life-lessons through joy instead of pain and fear? This is my goal. In my research on the Law of Attraction, it’s all about the feels. If we’re joyful and focused on a positive outcome, maybe we can learn what we need in this life in a state of happiness and positivity!

I mean, look at a baby learning to walk. If we slapped him every time he fell over, he’d give up. Right? But we don’t, we help, we cheer, we love him and he learns to walk…then moves on to the next thing. Children learn through play, actually, all mammals seem to do this. So why do we intelligent beasts that we are, get to a stage in our lives when we only open our eyes to life and it’s jolly lessons when it punches us in the side of the head?

When was the last time you did something for the fun of it?

When was the last time you felt joy?

Quote of the day… images