How do I bring more happiness into the subject of Joy, while being true to my suffering?
I don’t ask enough questions of life. I say that, because… every time I do ask life a question, I find the most remarkable answers arriving, in the most dynamic ways. This happens so consistently that I have come to believe that life wants to answer my questions. All that is needed is for me to ask.
I recently delivered my talk “Finding Big Joy” twice in a week. It was an awkward month to be talking about Joy, as my girlfriend had just left me, and I was struggling with grief after my mothers’ death 8 months previously. The first time I delivered the talk, I didn’t like it. It certainly pointed to Big JOY, but felt flat. It was too full of my own sadness to be inspiring.
After the talk I found myself at an extraordinary event, listening to former Israeli soldiers talking of their experiences. (www.hopeforheroism.org).One guy was shot 14 times. (He still has 13 bullets inside him) Another man lost 9 friends in 3 days, watching 3 of them die. I was humbled listening to them. My suffering felt so dramatic and demanding relative to their experiences. As they shared their stories, I saw their happiness and their struggle co-existing, while I keep mine very far apart in different corners of my soul – setting up polarity and duality.
So I asked myself “How do I bring more happiness into the subject of Joy, while being true to my suffering?”
It’s truly one of the best questions I have ever asked.
As I started my second talk, I shared this question with the audience, explaining that I was unhappy with the previous talk and was feeling lost and uncertain about how to proceed. I was lost and didn’t have the answer, but certainly had a good question, rich with desires and intention. That became the starting point, which I contextualised with the loss of my mother and girlfriend, before inviting the audience to teach me on our shared path to finding the answer.
The brilliance of what unfolded has stayed with me for days now. The division between speaker and audience dissolved immediately. It was as if we were all on the same quest together. We meandered through discussions and silences. We breathed. We laughed. We cried. We questioned. We agreed and disagreed… landing in whole, content, sweetness of Big Joy, rich with happiness AND suffering.
It so exciting for me. The newness of having my happiness and my sadness close together, rather than poles apart. Now, I have all of the ups and downs of my life AND a connection to the foundation of my being. Big Joy.
It sure is easier to get out of bed within this wholeness.
Thanks so much for those who walked that precious path with me. I bow to you, my teachers.