Is it possible to remain joyful and experience happiness, even in the worst of times? When things are really bad, when you are in the throes of true disaster and adversity, experiencing illness, loss, grief and/or seriously concerned about very real survival needs, is it still possible to be joyful and feel generally happy, most of the time? If it is possible, is this a desirable state or are we just ignoring the stark reality confronting us? It is not only possible, but it is how you get through bad times in the most resilient, healthy way and avoid damaging side effects to your physical and emotional long-term health. It is also how you stay sane, maintain the best mindset and stay resourceful for solving issues or finding answers for any problems that may arise. This has been demonstrated to us by many who have experienced extreme adversity and yet maintained a joyful attitude through their circumstances. They would have described themselves as generally happy, even when also experiencing and feeling great suffering. Such examples are many holocaust survivors and people like Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai, Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi and many, many more. These are people who have gone through things most of us cannot imagine surviving and have done so maintaining a resilient joyfulness and great hopefulness.
We are told it is not good to avoid our feelings and that we must experience them. When something really devastating is happening or has happened, how can we be anything but sad, unhappy and dwell in those feelings? That is really it, we can experience more than one feeling in a very short sequence of time. In a given moment we are experiencing a particular feeling and acknowledging it and we need to do that, but from moment to moment our feelings and what we are allowing ourselves to experience can change. And, it is okay to experience the full and changing range of our emotions and that is the healthiest way to deal with them. You can be deeply sad and truly feel a loss and still a short time later experience a moment of joy when your pet or your partner snuggles up to you. You can be feeling very lonely in one moment and then feel joy when a funny movie or something in real life makes you laugh. It is when you try to dwell in a single emotion and not experience the full range of your emotions that you become stuck in unhappiness and rob yourself of the joy that is still there for you in the natural process of living.
The times we are living in now are truly serious and devastating. They are very uncertain, with the only certainty being that Covid-19 is impacting us in ways that will forever change our lives. Many people are dying, there is real danger to our health and there are many challenges that effect our emotional and financial well-being. There are definitely concerns bombarding us from every direction. Many people were already seriously worried about our political division and the circumstances our country has recently experienced. At the same time there are the usual adversities of life happening. A friend is dying of brain cancer and we can’t even go see him because of this virus. There are people who are homeless and hungry and I saw a terrible accident yesterday and could only wonder what dealing with that would be like for those involved. Still, I really enjoyed the beautiful weather we are having here in the Northwest and a social-distancing walk I took along Lake Washington. I felt a sense of peace and joy, as I always do, being outdoors and watching a beautiful sunset over the water. I try to do a couple things every day that bring me joy. I start my day listening to music always and that lifts my spirits and starts my day on a positive note. I treated myself to a very decadent chocolate desert and a glass of wine yesterday and watched a romantic comedy. It was totally silly and I laughed and loved it. I savored those feelings and it is okay, even though it still breaks my heart that a good person I care about is dying and I can’t say good bye in person and give him one last hug. Yes, I feel that sadness deeply, but I can also feel gratitude, appreciation and joy. I catch myself worrying about something from time to time and I try to switch it up quickly after asking myself if there is anything that I can do about it right now. I try to stay in the moment, care for myself as well as I would take care of anyone else that I love. I try to be intentional in what I do. I stay connected to my family, friends and those who add positivity and light to my life.
You know what, I smile often, I see a lot of good in the world still and a lot to be grateful for, even now. I have to say I feel joyful and happy most of the time through these difficult days and for that I am truly and abundantly grateful! Life is good and the best is still yet to come! I am hopeful for the good I’d like to see come out of this pause in everyday life. I saw a meme posted and I may not have it exactly right, but the just of it was--
“It’s like Mother Nature sent us all to our rooms to think about what we have done!” -- Unknown
It is my greatest hope that great awareness, awakening, learning and action will come of this. I am imagining that and holding a space for it in my heart and soul!
Blog By Kate Olson
Kate is a Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner & Trainer, Reiki Master, Energy Healer, Life Coach and more. To find out more about her or her work, click the links below:
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Living in Joyful Resilience: A Roadmap for Navigating Life's Ups & Downs & Simple Soul Thoughts : Collecting Moments of Joy
About the Blog
After 4 years of featuring at least 1 guest Author a month this blog changed in 2020. I loved featuring the posts of other great people who also believe in mind, body, spirit wellness. I will continue to feature articles submitted to me on this topic that align with my own mission. However, finding & reaching out to others is time consuming and I do it for my radio show, Soul Talks and other groups and projects and so for this blog i will be ramping up my own posts and perspective. posting mostly my own blogs. I will be happy & excited to post articles from those who submit them to me.