I find it so fascinating. If you write a blog post about being So done with it, So done with it you’ll get lots of people flocking over to read. If you scribble about annoyance, anger, restlessness, sadness, grief–here come the readers.
You share about joy & light & love? Not so much. I’ve watched this play out hundreds of time in the last twelve years of public writing. (Writing a post entitled The home of our true heart won’t entice anyone except those truly longing to find it. Or perhaps those who’ve discovered it. Or those intuitively knowing it exists.)
There is something in the human psyche that longs to explore negativity, darkness, human suffering. A part of the psyche seems inexplicably drawn to it. The more challenge the better.
You’d think it would be the opposite. We’d be running and kickin’ our heels up toward happiness and inspiration and love. But no, we’re drawn to drama after drama. We’ve got things to say when negativity arises–yes, yes, I’ve felt this, too–we resonate. This is how you should act to make things better–we advise (until we learn that the best medicine is usually just listening and accompanying our friend through whatever she’s feeling).
I participated in a spiritual group for two years. Watched this same dynamic at play. If you shared your sorrows, your pain, your aching heart–you got kudos, warmth and compassion. If you wrote about love vibrating everywhere, the Holy’s beaming light, beaconing joy–how nice, but where’s the juice? Who do you think you are to zing with joy? C’mon, get real.
We all say we want happily-ever-after, but do we really?
We also like to blame news media for blah-de-blah negativity. Where are the good stories, the shining news? we scornfully shame. Yet we’re the same ones with the same psyches repeatedly drawn back to drama-filled stories, fast-paced novellas, histrionic, scary or violent movies, evil vs. good scenarios. We’re the ones who read the media’s drama and often pass by the lovely, beautiful and inspiring. The media has learned well what our psyches crave.
Yesterday I felt so much joy. The lips curved up into a half-smile almost all day. (They’re curving up now, just remembering.) It felt like a magical mystical Sunday. The Holy danced everywhere in happiness. Positivity bloomed like a Christmas cactus, and sure enough, I spotted our first pink flower.
I said the word at least fifty times throughout the day: Joy, Joy, Joy. It appeared instantaneously. When sadness arose, joy threw its arms around it and hugged. When my knee hurt, joy asked what was needed.
What a lovely day!
I used to think this state was the be-all, the end-all. When you zing in joy all the live-long day, you’ll be enlightened.
If I just behaved properly, or figured things out without making mistakes, joy would finally decide to live within this human body. It would take up residence ceaselessly and every day be a joy-party with little teacups and peppermint tea and happy -ever-after laughter.
But that never happened. Joy never did decide to live endlessly in our little house in the woods.
Instead, life kept arising with its many, many faces. Here’s sadness, hello, welcome back. Here’s pissed-off-ness, yep, hi there, old friend. Here’s hot anger because someone’s not getting it, hello, shall we get the kettle going or do you just want to shout?
Hello darkness my old friend…I’ve come to talk with you again…
Why are we drawn to darkness? Because it’s a quest some of us are called to make. We pilgrims of the soul. Setting sail into the unknown of the psyche, discovering the unconscious, priming it with the light of awareness.
Slowly, slowly, slowly I began waking up to reality. This ever-changing moment is what’s real. What’s here is my religion. Not some faraway hopeful la-de-da joy state where God blesses a good human being with an angelic crown of lilies. And what’s real is what’s appearing, no matter what form it takes. God comes down from heaven to populate the human world with human emotions and brings love within it. The transcended state is groovy, but THIS is where it’s at, baby.
Last night I woke abruptly at 2:30. No joy to be found. Just reality, thoughts, emotions flooding in from all directions. I got up and sat with what was arising. You, you, you, hello there again, here we are.
For two hours I sat with it all. Every swift-changing anxiety, pain, smile, delight, ache, annoyance. The Holy shimmered throughout whispering thank you, thank you, thank you. I saw clearly–utterly clearly–how the Holy accompanies us through everything. How it descends into the human moment and brings its love HERE. How utterly loved we are. How we think we’re doing it wrong when we’re suffering, but we’re not doing it wrong. We’ve never been doing it wrong…
There’s not a hair’s breadth difference between us and the Holy Heart. It’s only clouded as we resist what’s happening. It wants to bring its love-light into the darkness. It wants to illuminate the entire sphere.
THIS is the joy that can’t be spoken, that sounds like nonsense, but sometimes appears to us in the middle of a sleepless night or soft morning if we surrender to what is. This is a joy beyond joy. If you’re still reading this 752 words later you may be someone who senses the truth of this, even though other parts of you shake your head and say no, no, no, that’s not true for me.
Wishing you whatever appears in your day, my friends. Whatever life is bringing you–a picnic lunch or a bumped noggin. But also wishing that we can all journey deeper into serenity with what’s arising. That we can feel guided by something so much larger than our stories. There’s a way of surrendering into the moment that brings only joy. But it’s through the moment, not bypassing it. It’s the storybook mythical character who takes her staff and begins the journey through the underworld until she meets her very own true home–the home of her true heart.
Day 58 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.
It’s all interesting, isn’t it? Even the “boring” bits! ❤
It is indeed! Although I have mightily resisted those boring bits for much of this lifetime…and still sometimes do. 🙂
Maybe we seek fellowship when in the dark so that we can find a way out. When we experience joy, we don’t need help with that, do we? That may be simplistic, but I can understand why someone would seek answers when troubled. I hope today brings you joy! XOXO
Oh I love that thought, Stacy! That is perfect–we’re seeking fellowship in the dark to help us find a way out. Thank you so much for that! What’s been so strange and cool is that I don’t feel like I need or am looking for joy any more. That if the Holy decides to bring whatever today, that’s cool. (Although when in the midst of a funk the mind definitely does NOT always agree with that!) It was like by last night I was tired of joy and just wanted whatever the Holy wanted to bring. Such a change from years ago when all I wanted was endless joy.
I would love just a moment of joy. Granddaughter provides that, but another tries to steal it.
I know, Stacy. You’re in a really rough place where joy isn’t showing itself. I have a real close friend who didn’t have a moment of joy for eight years. And now, finally, she’s broken through to it. So there is hope…
Thank you for that. It brought tears to my eyes. I needed reassurance that there is hope. XOXO
❤ I truly believe there is hope. Another friend experienced that kind of pain for four years and then was "born again" into blessed relief and joy. That's what I think the Christ child points to.
I hope so. I pray so.
Stacy, I have been in your place for the last 30 years it seems – and suddenly it is here – I think we are in a huge wave where the old paradigm of “who do you think you are, being happy” is flushed out to sea –
I know many people can’t stand happiness in others without getting jealous – I certainly felt like that – but the smiles from strangers I receive these days are so catching – I know that the fast that you are here and bringing it out in the open is a sign that Joy will follow you – soon
Thank you, kind stranger.
That song. So intense. I’ve never heard this version before. The original is my insomnia song. I wake at 2 AM or whatever it happens to be, knowing it’s unlikely I’ll get back to sleep anytime soon, so I stay there in the dark, singing, “Hello insomnia my old friend…” and then switch to the original lyrics because there I am, in the darkness, listening to the silence that isn’t silent at all. (I also chant, sing lullabies, and have tea and a chat with my nighttime anxiety and hot flashes. All of this silently, of course, because my husband is a very good sleeper who doesn’t deserve to be disturbed by my insomnia.)
A lot of what I see as truth here in this post. One of the things that sometimes puzzled me in yoga teacher training was how the happy news, the joyous news, the good mood, are just smiled at and shrugged off while the angry, the frustrated, the sad, are rewarded and praised for sharing. I once told my teacher, during a one-on-one meeting, that I don’t know how to celebrate my joy as intensely as I celebrate falling into the abyss. Well, to be honest, I don’t know how to intensely celebrate either way because that’s the way I was brought up (don’t show your emotions, good girls don’t cry, etc., etc.) and the learning to be with what is and allow it to be what it is has been quite a ride. I might forever think of 2020 as The Year of the Great Unlearning and Learning. In any case, I’ve heard others who have gone through yoga teacher or other spiritual training express something similar. There is a good argument that the angry, the frustrated, and the sad need more attention, more hugs, more pats on the back. But what if it is harder to share joy than it is to share sadness? What if joy needs attention too?
I’m full of questions and no answers. 🙂 But this post brought to mind something I read last week. I’m not sure what the connection is. Maybe you’ll know. “Unless your God is a God of Unconditional Love, you will always be afraid of being too happy.” (Robert Holden)
YES! Robin, I love your line of questioning. I love this! The joy needs attention too. And it often felt like my heart would break because joy wasn’t getting the love it wanted. Which is odd, because why would joy want attention or love, too?
Now am sitting with that Robert Holden quote and pondering. Why would we be afraid of being too happy? (Because we’d be all alone in the world? Because we’d shine too bright?) I am thinking now of God being a God of Unconditional Love, and how that unconditionality allows us to be with whatever is happening. Until we can unconditionally love our sadness, we’re still not free. I think this quote alludes to that but can’t pull it up 100%.
The Year of the Great Unlearning and Learning…my gosh, yes, it certainly has been!
Kathy. ” Until we can unconditionally love our sadness, we’re still not free. I think this quote alludes to that but can’t pull it up 100%.”
Oh yes. This just happened recently to me – …at first there has been an automatic ” oh now, not AGAIN. and “what did I dot WRONG?” and such – but the last two days,what has followed after that is just an embrace of the sadness – breathing LOVE into it
And the last two days, when we all now walk with masks outside and inside, I have met smiling happy eyes around me – both in “old ladies like me” – and to the one of them I said ” Isn’t it wonderful that we can see a smiling face even if we wear masks” and she smiled even broader – and we just stood there, beaming joy to each others
I just love that you’ve had this experience, Leelah. That you saw beyond the “what have I done wrong?” response and was able to move deeper into it. And now you’re wide open and joyful and it’s such a beautiful place to be. I see you, Leelah! And am loving your wide open heart and delight!
Noticing the intense pleasure when the heart is loved and allows it in – big breath
❤ ❤ ❤
Your words all brought us, your readers, to the HOME of truth. We have good days, even joyful ones (or at least joyful moments). we have bad days, and sometimes really really depressing days. Most of our days are in between those extremes, though, and that’s when we look at the past or the future for something more exciting. No, no, no. Your post title caught my interest right away, because in one of the guided meditations I listen to, the monk says, Your true home – where is your true home? It’s in the NOW. Not the past, not the future, but N O W. ❤
Yes, you get it, my friend! Exactly what the monk says. THIS is our true home. In the NOW. With whatever is appearing! I want to dance around the Christmas tree with all my fellow travelers who recognize this truth!!
I have never given much thought to the reactions to negative things compared to reactions to joyous things. I think, in my life, in my memory, they probably share equal billing – there are as many good memories as there are not-so-good. Your paragraph about the media struck me though – the media prints what sells, because that’s their business, so if we feel they’re accenting the negative or stretching the truth, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Which makes me think (and I don’t know why) about the cry for term limits for Congress – yet we vote for the same old people in the same old positions. What is with that?
You are lucky that perhaps you’re so even-tempered to have both, and they’re not competing in your psyche, Carol. And perhaps because this isn’t happening you’ve realized that you’re “enough”. I always remember you writing that. As for wondering why we vote for the same old people in the same old positions, I don’t know either. Is it because we’re comfortable with the known no matter how awful that may be?
JOY, JOY, JOY, let’s jump for all the joy in the world! Big grin!
Drama is what gets us into the story, something has to happen that is shattering. So we can read about it or resonate with it, to see how the silly human got out of the mess… Does God Laugh? No Spirit is there to guide, us through.
Being in the moment of what is, is Being in the Moment.
As you know I had a medical situation for most of the year, I shared about on Facebook every other week, photos of me in the Hospital, I received a lot of comments and support, I was grateful for them all.
As I do now and was actively doing while in the process of healing, I continued to be creative with healthy meals which I shared about on FB and Instagram, most of the response are likes, a few people want recipes, a few comment. nice, well done, etc… The difference is I don’t need the attention the same way for my food post, I would like more comments, yet being alone during medical healing process could have been a very depressing and sad experience without people recognizing the attention…
There is a phrase in recovery, that sometimes gets on people nerves, “This too shall pass” Joy or a problem, will change in an hour or a moment, and day or a week, just be there for it when it does.
I’m not sure where I was going with all of this…
I just wanted to make sure JOY got Her attention too!
I am grinning with you, Jeff. You are right–we’re pulled in by drama so we can see how the silly human gets out of the mess. (And maybe we hope to learn something from that along the way about how to get out of our own messes?) So glad you were given so many people to help you through your challenging times. Without that support it could have been terrible. This is the good part of social media–when there are folks there to help us through. (And I think JOY is dancing in the streets that you gave her some attention!!)
I was awake last night at 2 also…feeling a strong urge to paint, but I talked myself, after many restless minutes, back to sleep. I hope today everyone finds a little joy mixed in with whatever is.
Hi Dawn. You were awake too! Lucky you–that you could find your way back to sleep. Wondering if you did more of your paintings today. Btw way we got 5 inches of snow!
It is true. Dark themes overshadow joy many times. Even the Holy One experiences thus same phenomena. When things a deeply dark and distressing his throne room is crowded and pressed for answers and even blame. When things are going well and life is getting on with big issues the throne room of the Holy One is empty. You’d think it would be filled with thundering praises. So I must remember to thank him for the joy as well as busy him with the darkness.
I like your analogy, Rigrr! Now I am going to spend a few minutes with the Holy One as well and say thank you for all of it. (And thanks for your comment, too.)
I awoke early this morning, too — somewhere around 3 o’clock — but prayed until I drifted back to sleep. As a former journalist (is there such a thing?!?), I know bad news sells. We seem to crave it like addicts crave liquor. Still, it seems to me that we should be focusing on the GOOD, not the bad, even though it’s sometimes easier to whine!
Debbie, it sounds like several of us were awake last night. My mom said she couldn’t sleep most the night. And, yes, I suppose you know well that it’s the challenging news that sells because we addicts are craving our fix. Wanted to type lol, but it really isn’t funny. I am focusing on the good right now–your comment, the Christmas lights around the house, the value of friendship. Thank you!
I must be weird, Kathy. The title of today’s post intrigued me, but I am drawn to joy before sadness every time. Why are people more likely to flock around misery? Is it because, as the saying goes, misery likes company? I never could understand why people choose to wallow together, each competing with the next to tell the saddest story. I’m pleased to hear you found joy, however short-lived it may be. That’s one thing we can always be guaranteed of, everything changes. Perhaps someday the world will change too, and people will seek joy over darkness. Who knows?
I am glad you find yourself a joyful person in this world, too, Joanne. It is a good place to be. So many folks, too, suffer from unresolved trauma and assignments from Spirit to bring love to their deepest wounds. Perhaps humans are attracted to sadness because they want to heal it, but don’t know how? So many questions! My heart is smiling in joy thinking of you and your flowers and beautiful mountain.
About not knowing how to heal the wounds – I believe what I can heal, is my relationship to it – not judging neither IT or myself,.That may take LOONG time – or not …but since everything is energy, and the energy of the trauma and the energy of my feelings towards it¨¨the trauma is ONE thing – could it not be possible that if a take care om my part of the quotation, the energy of that trauma would react/respond to it in a positive way?
And since quantum physics ( and A Course in Miracles and all non-dual teachings) tell us that separation does not exist, and we then are One with all – does it sound reasonable that what you and I do, will affect us all?
I so agree, Leelah! And sometimes forget that this not judging is absolutely key.
Thank you, Kathy. My garden really is my “happy place”, probably more than ever this year.
There are so many questions, and even when we think we have the answers to them, further thoughts make us start wondering all over again. I think that’s why I can’t spend too much time pondering my own emotional wounds. Everyone has them, yet there are never any conclusive answers to the questions regarding the whys and the wherefores. It’s such a cliché, but time really does heal, and I find it pointless obsessing over finding someone to blame when things don’t go to plan. I remember being told once that God never gives us a burden to heavy to bear, and if we feel we really can’t cope, just say, “God, (or whoever) this is a burden too huge for me, so I’m going to have to hand it back to you to deal with for me”. I did that once and it worked. The next day, everything was right with my world again. 🙂
Oh my goodness I so agree with you, Joanne. Thinking about emotional wounds is a huge cul de sac with no way out! I tried that for years and years and never escaped that merry-go-round. Blaming is another awful place to go. Turning it over to God is a much better route. Just letting go… Your comment made me think that readers might be imagining that I am recommending that people think more about emotions. Since that’s not what I believe I decided to explore this more in today’s post. Thanks for this morning’s inspiration.
How beautiful, Joanne
Because of impermanence loss is an inevitable part of life, along with joy. We seem to need more help coping with loss, more help from our fellow beings on this journey. Joy is easier to carry, and to take for granted. I love how Emily Dickinson wraps her mind around this truth:
Such is the Force of Happiness —
The Least — can lift a ton
Assisted by it’s stimulus —
Who Misery — sustain —
No Sinew can afford —
The Cargo of Themselves —
Too infinite for Consciousness’
Slow capabilities —
Thank you Barbara and Emily. You may be right–humans need “a little help from our friends” when we’re in sorrow’s craw. Joy is not the same burden. Blessings!
I hadn’t thought about it, but you’re right, I have gotten more clicks on titles that insinuate some sort of drama. Perhaps it’s simply because misery loves company. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s deep if you think about people not wanting to feel alone in their dramas. It can either make them feel connected with others, or “better” than others if they think the other guy’s drama is worse than theirs. Searching for something outside of themselves.
I personally feel drawn to the more peaceful posts. It reminds me who I really am. I believe the Universe is neutral. Doesn’t take sides in any drama. It only loves, and that love is not like the love we understand. It’s a love that sets us free.
I am really interested in reading everyone’s opinions about this and it seems like there’s a consensus here that people don’t want to feel alone in their challenges. That makes sense. I agree so much that the Universe is neutral and doesn’t take sides and just loves. Oh be still my heart. Lori, you’ve stated it perfectly.
I love this insight! I recently read a book by Andy Puddicombe, about mindfulness, that mirrors these sentiments. I daresay you expressed the ideas even better than he did!
Now that’s a compliment, Cindy. I am really glad you liked this! ❤
Very thought-provoking, this post.
I’ll be honest: I absolutely love Disturbed’s version of the song and have since I first saw the live performance of it on Conan.
I see darkness as just another of Nature’s many faces and forms. Darkness is Mystery. It’s the womb. It’s below ground and in all the secret hollow places of Earth. It’s the void where anything’s possible. It’s a huge part of the universe. It’s where life begins. It’s where life ends. If you don’t have darkness, how in the world can you behold the stars? Darkness scares the daylights out of me some days and other days it’s wonderfully restful and restorative.
I’ve been dancing with and in the shadows a lot this year, in a very literal/physical sense. I performed a shadow dance in our annual show in February when live performance was still a thing, and I’ve been choreographing a second shadow-dance since October. In preparation and for inspiration, I’ve been pondering Carl Jung’s work, specifically his concept of “The Shadow” with regard to the formation of ego-personality. It’s just fascinating stuff. I’m reminded of this quote:
“The shadow is always there, and it will always be, but the shadow can look big or look small, depending on the angle from which the light caresses you.” (The Quintessential Mind)
I may be straying from the original spirit/intent of your post. At any rate, thanks for this post!
Oh, Lunar, this sentence: If you don’t have darkness, how in the world can you behold the stars? My heart said yes when I read this. It’s been such a year of shadow work for so many of us. To think you performed a shadow dance as well. And how the shadow can look big or small depending on the angle from which the light caresses you. The light caresses us…so loved this. And you could never stray here. Always speak from wherever your mind/heart leads you.