Accepting Happiness

Happiness does not mean easy. –Sheila Lamb (me. I said that.)

I’m exhausted. I’m posting the handwritten blog. 



Recognize the Good, Accept the Good

Just as we need to recognize when there is a bad situation, we also need to recognize the good – or what we would label as good – even in during difficult times.

“Bad turns to good through the power of nonresistance.” ~Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

When we’ve spent the majority of our time in hardships and struggle, it is difficult to believe that things can be good, that we can be happy. Tolle writes about the stories we tell ourselves, the stories our ego is drawn to, our egoic desire toward drama. Our ego is a drama queen. If we can take a moment and observe that occurrence, we realize the situation is as it is, and it is our mind that keeps the drama going.

The first task is to recognize where good exists. Just as we accept difficult challenges with, yes, this sucks, ok get on with it… we need to find those moments of good with an attitude of recognition and acceptance.

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A million years ago, in that past life, when I was moving out of my house, I felt incredibly isolated and alone. My family and close friends were on the other side of the country. I had work colleagues and social acquaintances but few that I felt I could ask for help with moving.  I hesitated for a long time. I was stuck in my own pity party drama. My ego was enjoying feeling sorry for poor, alone, isolated me. Finally, I asked for their help. I didn’t expect much but to my surprise, they did agree to help me move out. One couple brought their trailer. Others carried my boxes (mostly of books). They helped me set up my new rental room and take things to storage.

Of course, this was a difficult day, in the middle of a horrible (such as it was) situation. But there they were. A handful of people who graciously agreed to help me. That was a good thing. I could have chosen to look on that day with negativity. I did, for much of it. But it was time to recognize that these were good people helping me out. And the feeling-sorry-for-myself drama ended. I believe that it was that day that turned acquaintances to friends (well, that and the invention of Facebook) 🙂

Recognize the good. Accept that it is there, somewhere. Many people are willing to help in some way or another. Maybe not all. Maybe not most. But they are there.

firemen

I highly recommend your local Firemen Movers. They helped me on move #2.

Even if you feel like you are alone, call a peace officer. Call a counselor. Call a moving company, if you can afford it.

These are all also people who are willing and able to help.

There is good out there. Even in the midst of struggle and difficulty, recognize that good. In the present moment, accept the good.

 

 

Accepting the…Bad?

“If you find your here and now intolerable…you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally.” Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now

I planned to write this post about accepting our good. I will, soon, but first we have to understand how to accept the bad. When there is hardship, heartbreak, sadness, it may seem that there is no good to accept. In constantly challenging situations, it’s hard to find the positive.

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Sometimes, days are dark. Weeks, months, years. Many, many years ago, I went through a difficult divorce. The end of the marriage seemed, to me, to have happened very quickly so I did a lot of my processing post-divorce. A friend recommended I read A New Earth. I read a quote similar to the one above and then promptly threw the book against a wall.

Everything was awful. My marriage was over, and not in any sort of amicable way. My plans, my dreams were all reduced to dust. (One day, there will be another entry about “plans” and “dreams” and the idea of being present).

Remove, change, or accept. Remove I did, from the marriage anyway. But the aftermath of crisis was a sludge-fest of depression. I didn’t know how to change where I was, and I sure as heck wasn’t going to accept where I was. I was in a horrible place and then I began to think about others who were in more horrible situations. A divorce is hard but what about someone who is dealing with death? What about someone who has to deal with a violent assault? What about a long-term illness or life-altering injury? How were those people supposed to accept really horrible things?

Crying over this glorified break-up became just a little…well, humiliating. I would, one day, be ok. (And yes, now, that is happily true!)

A couple of days later, I picked up the book from where I had thrown it.

And I read this:

 “…[things] are as they are. What is dreadful is your reaction, your inner resistance to it, and the emotion that is created by that resistance…”

And this:

“There is nothing you can do about that fact that at this moment, this is what you feel…is it possible for you to completely accept that this is what you feel right now?” Eckhart Tolle – A New Earth

Part of acceptance is accepting that yes, this does suck. It is a horrible situation. Yes, things should be different, but they are not. Ok, then. I can accept that this is a bad, horrible, no-good circumstance. Now what? I could either wallow in misery or take action.

 

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I was still miserable, but I began to make decisions and make an effort. Small things. Call an acquaintance to meet for coffee. Meet for dinner. If they couldn’t make it, I did things on my own. Go for a hike. Volunteered at the local animal shelter. Took a part-time job on weekends. From those small steps, I began to make bigger plans, which eventually included moving back to my home state, to be closer to family and lifelong friends.

Instead of resisting the situation, I began to accept it. By accepting it, I could live with it, which meant I began to live again. I had to start from scratch. It wasn’t in the way I had planned but I accepted the “what is,” and began to live again.

 

 

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