The Secret To Round-The-Clock Joy
Everybody wants to be happy.
We all want things in our life to be easy, favourable and even perfect, but so many of us fail to remain consistently happy when our circumstances don't match our desires.
When things go wrong, when unplanned challenges arise, we've only really got 3 options on how to respond:
1) Fight with it.
Hate it, avoid it, push against it, pretend it's not there, numb yourself out or bitch about it.
2) Accept it.
Remain neutral, be open, make peace with what's happening.
3) Love it.
Say "Yes", "Thankyou" and "I love you" to your experience, feel grateful for it and welcome it along with the positive.
Which one is your default?
When something shitty happens, it's might not seem as though you have a choice as to how you respond, especially if you've spent your whole life responding using option number 1.
Applying option 2 takes practice, discipline and commitment, and it's totally worth it.
Then once you're in that state of acceptance and find it easy to respond with neutrality, reaching option 3 only requires some minor tweaks.
Imagine a mountain climber approaching what they think is the summit, except once they get there, they realise that it's not the summit and that there's still another two hundred meters left to climb, that's like the difference between accepting your challenges and loving them. That last part of the climb is the hardest but most rewarding part!
When I embarked on my year-long quest to accept my life rather than fighting with it all the time, I was pretty confident that I would hit my goal of simple acceptance. That's all I really wanted. I didn't know about the third option. I had no idea that it was even possible to love my experience, really.
Having spent my entire life in an underwhelming state of neutrality with only fleeting moments of joy, that I couldn't even comprehend the idea of loving the shitty things that happened to me.
Along my journey, as I crept towards a state of unconditional acceptance, as I saw my goal nearing completion, I saw another dimension at play. As I approached what I thought was my "summit" I caught a glimpse of the REAL summit that I had been chasing, the one that I didn't even know was there!
I toyed with the idea, when something undesirable happened, I asked myself "is it possible to love this?" After some digging, I could usually find a "yes" in there somewhere and set about experimenting with the idea of liking (and eventually loving) my experiences.
Even though the road to finding acceptance was long and difficult (but worth it), the road to loving the bad stuff was riddled with confusion, rejection and disbelief.
It's easy to talk about accepting or loving all aspects of your life, but then it's another thing to actually change your beliefs about what is good, what is bad, what is worthy of positive reactions and what is not.
This brings us to my secret to joy that I discovered along the way....
. . . Allowing.
Yes, allowing is a part of finding acceptance with what is (option 2), but it's also what led me to love all of my experiences, not just the positive ones. Here's the question that changed it all for me:
"What will I gain from allowing myself to love this situation?"
There's not much to gain from struggle and resistance, but there is a tonne to be gained from love.
My answers to this question were things like... more love, deeper compassion, ultimate forgiveness, surrender from struggle, fearlessness and a deep sense of satisfaction and achievement. Holy what?
This is what EVERYONE wants! And now I can have it, all I have to do is push through a bit of discomfort and I'll be there in an instant. Shit, this is the answer! Is this what all those Buddhists are on about? I think I just figured it out on my own!
So as I neared the end of my Yes Quest year in 2015, I discovered this secret that made it all MORE worth it than I ever could have imagined!
Use this question to help bring more love and peace into the challenges in your life.