(The previous one was only five years out of date!)
One of my lovely friends commented and said I look really happy.
She’s right, I am really happy in this photo, and it shows.
It was taken on holiday with my partner in Malibu. We were at a wonderful restaurant, overlooking an amazing coastline.
It was my idea of heaven, and it’s a special memory I’ll treasure.
But life, and emotions, are not always like this.
And sometimes, we think this is a problem.
We judge ourselves for our negative emotions, and wonder what is wrong
Instead of simply sitting with them and allowing them, we beat ourselves up
for feeling the way we do. And in doing so, we heap further suffering on top.
We wonder why we can’t just be happy, and why our emotions seem to be
such a rollercoaster ride.
And then we feel even worse.
Social media doesn’t help.
We look at a photo of someone, taken at a moment in time, and we imagine this is how they feel 24/7.
In recent days and weeks, I have felt sad, upset, heartbroken, frustrated, angry, and more.
The very opposite of the emotions portrayed in this photo.
Life is 50/50
The truth is, feelings are fleeting. No feeling is final or fatal.
We are human, and that means we’re designed to experience the full range and contrast of human emotions.
How can we experience pure joy, if we haven’t also clung to the depths of despair?
The myth is that once we get ‘there,’ wherever there is, we’ll be ‘happy’, and no longer have to experience painful emotions.
But think about it.
It’s not appropriate to feel happy all the time, even if it were possible. If somebody we love dies, we want to feel sad.
The truth is, life will always be a 50/50 mix of positive and negative emotions.
It doesn’t matter how much success we achieve, what career mountains we conquer, or the amount of money we make.
The challenges we face may alter as we grow, but life will always present us with our share of problems and painful experiences.
Life is always 50/50.
This is not a problem. The only problem is when we believe it shouldn’t be this way.
The irony is that accepting all of our emotions without judgement, would make our negative emotions less negative.
If we accepted and allowed every one of our feelings, and paid attention to the messages they have for us, our bodies would simply process and then release them – much sooner.
It’s simple. And not always easy to do.
We are all a work in progress.
And that’s okay.