This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
You don’t actually have to choose joy if you are not feeling internally joyful. It’s ok to choose the exact emotion that you are feeling, and by choosing you ultimately release judgement and allow yourself to feel the more vulnerable emotions like sadness, anger, fear, malice, envy, shame. Those emotions are real and they deserve to be welcomed just as freely as we welcome joy and happiness. The concern that inevitably arises for me when falsely choosing joy or using the mind over matter technique is that it is a temporary fix at best, a bandaid if you will. Choosing a more amicable or acceptable emotion is in violation to our growth and healing. It’s inauthentic. It’s a flag on the play. Unnecessary roughness. Flagrant! Really… it is. It does not heal anything, it does not transform, it does not enlighten or enliven, it does not even reveal to you your triggers.
When an emotion is not allowed it is suppressed, also suppressed is an opportunity to get to the other side of whatever it is you are feeling. Our path is not linear and like roses, there are thorns. The fullness of joy you are able to experience in this lifetime is directly correlated to your willingness to allow your emotions to come and visit freely. Sad days will come, honor them. Be curious about what may be ready for healing. Write about how you feel. Talk about how you feel. Don’t just choose joy for the sake of being temporarily comfortable, you do not have to. It’s ok to not be ok. And for heavens sake please stop telling people to just be happy. Don’t stunt their growth like that.