Yesterday, as I scrolled through Instagram, I came to Jennifer Kass's page where she said that her first water color post read "Happiness is a choice" then she wrote, I was wrong. Happiness is not a choice; happiness is a natural and profound feeling on the other side of allowing all of our painful emotions."
As I read her words, I was transported back to my cheerleading days and felt as though she had scored the winning touchdown. All I could think was , "THIS!!! SO MUCH OF THIS!!!"
She is so right and I have always believed this too, but we get fed this idea that happiness is a choice, as though we have the ability to flip the joy switch on. In my younger more tortured days when people would speak a version of this to me it would infuriate me. I had so much pain, and yes, by most standards I was living an extremely privileged life, but that didn't take away from the turmoil sweeping through me on a daily basis.
As I developed a yoga and meditation practice, I began to experience breath and ease in a different way. I could feel a lightness, a joy, happiness. but that feeling came authentically from many hours of self study, and even more hours of tasting my tears.
As my practices went deeper, I was hit by lesson after lesson and tears continued to flow. The more I increased my consciousness the clearer my lessons became. And then, one day, I surrendered and since that day I have been surrendering every minute of every day and then I surrender some more. It is through surrender that I am able to accept and release and feel joy. But, this is in no way an easy process.
For a girl who was such a control freak that the way I set down my bobby pins determined the outcome of my day, surrendering was not my natural state. But, once I stopped trying to drive the bus, once I let my life unravel, everything began to make more sense and I was able to breathe more easily.
As a society, we are consumed by happiness. We search relentlessly for external stimulus to make us "happy," only to feel empty and searching for more. It is only by going through that we get to the other side. It is only by accepting our pain, getting acquainted with it, and ultimately using to to create that we become joyful.
Happiness may not be a choice, but how we process life is a choice and how we process life will determine our joy or our pain, our resentment or our forgiveness, our anger or our freedom, our fear or our love.
It's taken me a many years to understand that I choose whether or not I attach to the pain or I move through it, release it, and use it to create. It's sometimes easier to attach to it, for what's on the other side, that freedom, can feel very big and very scary.
As much as we are seeking to happiness and joy we get very comfortable in the discomfort. It's time we choose differently. It's time we choose to be brave enough to face our decisions of the past and allow them to fuel our future. It's time that we have the courage to change, that we have the courage to let go, that we have the courage to love and to be free. It's time we have the courage to allow life to unravel so that we can be happy...
Peace and Love...xoxoxo