Sometimes there is a misconception that a person of Spirit will be loving, joyful, and peaceful continuously. Then, if we are not able to maintain that equanimity, we are bad; a sinner, a failure, a slacker, etc. The inner critic finds endless words to assign to us if we are not consistently impeccable in our practice. This is the myth of perfection. We often associate words like omnipotent, all-seeing, and perfect with the Higher Power energy. So if we are not perfect- as that Great Spirit is thought to be perfect- we believe we must do atonement, or that we deserve to be punished.
Laughter shall set us free and love shall lift up the world are suggestions. If that’s not where we are today, it’s best to accept that fact and not attempt to pretend to give what we don’t have or want to give away. Anger, fear, pain, and grief are part of life’s experience. There is a wide spectrum of expressing these emotions from mild to intense. The same is true of our encounters with loving kindness, generosity, compassion, joy, and even peace. They come and they go. This is the human condition.
The path of Spirit can teach us that uncomfortable or unpleasant energies are not unwelcome guests that have moved into our home for an indefinite period of time. Even underneath an intense expression of anger, fear, pain, and grief- there exists the potential for love, joy, and peace later on. In being real, we express love, joy, and peace- only when we are actually experiencing those energies. This is not an invitation, however, to become a domineering, violent, and controlling individual giving away our anger and pain to others- It is an invitation to understand where we are in the moment. When surrounded by seemingly endless difficulties try this affirmation: I accept myself as I am in this Now, and I surrender to love, joy, and peace in this Now. We can have love, joy, and peace, even if things are not perfect.
As a child, we could overcome, what seemed to us then, a great tragedy often within five minutes. As we grow up we learn how to hold on to our pain. This is why we so often fall out of love or friendship. We rehearse our pain stories, our betrayals, and our upsets. We become addicted to the perfection myth- in ourselves and in our partners. But if we can forgive ourselves for making mistakes, it will become easier to forgive others for their mistakes as well.
Let’s look at laughter shall set us free from the standpoint of play. A play is a story drama. If the tale is only about joy, light, peace, and love, nothing appears to happen in that story. Soon we are bored and seek out a play, movie, or book that has some challenges and problems for the hero to solve.
It isn’t the goal of life to be problem-free. It’s the goal of our lives to figure out what to do with the problems we encounter.
When obsessing on the difficulties of our lives, are we working through our problem or just reviewing them over and over- with no solution in sight? Challenges are a part of life. Suffering is the endless repetition of a painful energy. Finding a sense of humor can work wonders on the obsessions of the mind. Laughter can be used to free ourselves from suffering.
When we laugh we free up inner wisdom so we can figure out what to do. We must learn to listen to the still small voice within. This means we have to be quiet long enough to hear it. Take time to walk with nature, sit by a lake or a river, watch the grass grow, lean to meditate. In the silence we can find our way back to beauty and grace.
To have a joyful life, obsess on- smiling through the doorways, enjoying the sunrise, count your blessings, or if possible- accept yourself in the Now. The path of Spirit can be fun, but not if you’re afraid of yourself.
Gratitude is an endless focus on the positive. Grace means that through the loving kindness of another person we let go of something and it changes our lives. Everything is temporary. Let yourself be free in the energy of life. Find your laughter. It will lead you to Love!