Do you ever randomly get happy?
I went to the gym after work yesterday and a shameless target run. While I was done with my work-out, I could see a flurry of snow through the street light outside of my gym. Then on my drive, I listened to all the ratchet music that I could possibly listen to (don’t judge) and I just stayed in the parking lot admiring the snow. I could see the streetlight reflecting the flecks of snow on my dashboard and I felt happy.
Do you ever get scared that happiness is fleeting?
Right when I was happy for no reason, I also got scared that it might be a delusion. Was I just being oblivious to my problems and pretending to be happy? Would I lose this feeling and mourn it forever? I wanted to hold on to the feeling and didn’t want to forget it. I don’t think happiness is an illusion. Even if it comes from utter insanity, delusion or some sort of an accident – I think we should savor these moments of happiness.
I am so grateful that I got to feel that yesterday. I still have that lingering feeling today and I hope to hold on to it as long as it stays with me and I am ready to let go of it when it wants to leave.
As I go through time, I get the harsh reminder that progress is not linear. As much as we would like to think it is and as nice as it would be to keep progressing. Most times, we relapse. We go back to our old ways. We relive the pain we thought we had gotten over. A lot of times we mistake progress to be a systematic process. Once you feel like you’re “over” something – it shouldn’t be painful right? It should get easier and a bit better? I have been finding that it isn’t always the case. After going through a terrible heartbreak this past summer, I went through a moment of peace around the end of October. I felt good. I felt zen. I felt super proud of myself for being able to let go and see the other person happy….or I thought that was the case. Yesterday, I found myself going back to the painful place. I kept picturing this person happy and it tortured me. It made me feel horrible and helpless. I kept picturing them with their new person and it made me feel worthless. I kept reliving our memories and it made me feel heartbroken all over again.
I thought I was over these feelings so, why were they resurfacing? Why was the pain coming up again? Why was I moving backwards?
I don’t know the exact answer but, I think it has to do with progress not being linear. Sometimes we go back to our old ways because that is what we’re used to. Staying heartbroken is EASIER than working through the mess and getting better. Being broken allows us to create excuses for other areas in our life. We can justify our failure and blame it on our heartbreak. We can justify our lowly efforts and blame it in this other person. But, our life is our responsibility. We don’t get to show up at the end of life and have excuses. We have to work through our heartbreak. As messy and painful it is, we have to keep going. Sometimes, we will relapse and go back and that is okay. The goal is to keep making progress in some way. It doesn’t have to always be linear and forward. It can be messy and backwards. It can be opening and closing of the wound – as long as the end result is healing. We can keep going.
I am currently reading a book by Thich Nhat Hanh titled “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching – Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation”. The title is a mouthful and I do not really know much about Buddhism. I am at the beginning of the book and one part of the book really struck me. The author writes that in order to heal, it is important to identify your pain. It is important for you to “diagnose” what is causing your pain similar to how a doctor would if you had physical pain in your body.
I think I am the type of person that wants to take a “healing pill” and get it over with. I don’t want to spend time identifying the pain nor talking about it. It would be much easier if I could just get over it and forget it. But, that is not how life works. It is important to recognize what is causing us pain to be able to heal from the pain. We cannot heal a physical imbalance without a proper diagnosis so, why do we expect to heal a spiritual or emotional imbalance without first learning about it? I am guessing it has to do with our egos. We don’t want to admit that we let this thing cause us pain so, we would rather ignore it and hope it magically heals itself and goes away.
So, consistent with my new ode to complete ownership and honesty – here is what is causing my pain: it is attachment to someone and it is the feeling of rejection. I feel rejected by someone and it hurts. There is no poetic way to phrase that sentence – it stings and that’s the truth. I am attached to someone and that attachment leads to to feeling rejected. The cycle is very ironic – I think the Buddha would enjoy this a little bit at least.
I encourage you to identify your pain. Only by identifying it, you can learn from it and begin to heal it. It isn’t going to be easy to admit it and maybe you’ll go through the pain all over again but, think of your doctor diagnosing you for a cold or a headache. Only after the diagnosis can he prescribe you with medication that will heal you. Only after recognizing your pain can you really take the true path of healing.