The raindrops are falling against my window. The energy is low, everything is closing in around me and like the environment around me, my body feels as if it is doing the same. I do not want to be asked questions or get into any discussions in order to feel better. I do not want to feel better. I do not want to commit to anything. I just want to stay here in this moment, feeling it throughout my whole body and mind. Is there anything wrong with that?
Isn't it strange that when people are happy, smiling and filled with energy, everyone wants to be around them? However, on the contrary, when we feel down and decide to open up to the world, sharing how we feel and what we think, the reaction of others is far less positive. Indeed, joy is contagious and so is sadness. Unfortunately, the majority of people still react with acceptance to joy and with aversion to sadness.
Yet, there is not one single human being out there, who has not experienced negativity, sadness, pain or any other negative emotion or sensation. Why are we so prone to pushing negative people away but accepting positive people, as if sadness is a plague?
Learn to accept the reality of your being – no matter what
A few years ago, I spent a cold, long winter at 2000 meters high, working long hours. As a consequence, I got severely ill and on my return back home my body needed more time than normal to heal. I took time off, relaxed and accepted that I was ill and feeling down, as I knew that it would pass. As soon as I accepted the reality of it and soaked the whole situation in, I became overwhelmed with happiness. However, I soon realised, that my surrounding environment and the people closest to me, could not handle my state of being, even though I had peacefully accepted it without prejudice or judgement.
Some were wondering, why was I was sleeping so much, and others cancelled future projects as they started to feel scared that I might never recover. They even thought I was enjoying being in my sick state because I had purely accepted it. Yet I decided to do nothing but only observe the madness around me. After a couple of weeks, I was back on track, completely rejuvenated and filled with energy. I then noticed that once again I was worthy of people's time. This was the exact moment when I questioned whether those were the people I actually wanted and needed around me!
It is crucial to experience the darkness first if we want to see the light
As soon as I made a full recovery, I realised that my body and mind had needed the downtime. I just had to soak it in and feel it deeply. I needed to experience the pain if I was to become truly happy. There is an old saying in Buddhism: “Nothing lasts forever.” Our emotions are just like the weather – continuously changing! This is the law of nature. Yet we continue to prefer particular positive sensations over those that cause great suffering. Finally, we are never satisfied, as we always want what we do not have.
I, therefore, believe it is important to accept reality as it is and to allow ourselves to feel a variety of emotions as well as states of being. This will then allow us to realise that each emotion brings something beautiful with it. For example, when I feel tired and down, there is an incredible cosy bubble around me and as I close my eyes I drift into a very deep sleep, which is something I can never achieve when I am in a happy and positive state. Let's confess, it does feel great to just accept the times when we are not well and be happy about it. Just like a wet sponge, allow yourself to be squeezed together until you dry out naturally and feel better again.
Tips on how to embrace sadness and pain with love and compassion:
- Realise you are feeling down.
- Accept your reality as it is not trying to change or mask it.
- Surrender into what your state of being brings. Rest and nurture your body and listen to what it wants. Do not push yourself into feeling better by taking drugs or doing something that is an unnatural form of healing.
- Do what makes you feel better – eat healthy food, go outdoors, spend time by yourself, have some ice-cream or watch your favourite show.
- Finally, lovingly accept yourself as you are. Know that everything will pass and your state of mind will not last forever. Most of all, just purely enjoy the experience you are being offered.
Imagine our world if everyone looked at illness and negativity with the same attitude as they do at joy and success! Try and make a difference today.