Popular Culture: Just be happy.
Perceived Fool: Hey, great idea. Let me just flip on that happy switch. Oh! All better now! Thanks for saving me!
Popular Culture: Love yourself.
Perceived Fool: Oh yeah. I must have forgotten. Let me hit that “love yourself” switch. Presto!
Popular Culture: Stop being depressed.
Perceived Fool: You enlightened master you. I’ll get right on it. Hello “stop being depressed” switch. Flip. Oh my gods. I feel amazing now. Thank you!
What is funny is that when we have a physical injury, while people do belittle physical pain too, for the most part, if your buddy falls down the stairs, you’re probably not going to tell them stop feeling the physical pain after they’ve sprained their ankle. However, when it comes to emotional pain, “STOP!” We tell others to stop it. Flip that pain switch off.
The point I want to make is that there is no switch on the wall where you can move from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other in a flash. Also, we cannot move from a low level of consciousness to a high one in a heartbeat either contrary to what the “spiritual scholars” say.
The move from a place of self-loathing to a place of self-love is a process.
The move from feeling shame to worthiness is a process.
The move from feeling sad to happy takes time.
The move from feeling depressed to loving life is a process.
The move from grief after a loved one has died to a place of acceptance is a process.
Healing from sexual abuse is a process.
Forgiveness is a process.
The move from spiritual infancy to full consciousness can take hundreds of lifetimes!
By process, we’re talking about lots of self-work, blood, sweat, and tears and lots more pain… And lots of patience and lots and lots of time that could take from months to lifetimes.
We cannot skip over any process. Just like we cannot skip college and get a diploma. We don’t go from being an intern to head surgeon in a day. Moving through life and accomplishing milestones is a process involving very hard work with no possibility of cheating or getting an easy ride. Sometimes we kid ourselves and say we’re over it when we have really just desensitized ourselves for survival since our pain is too hard to bear. However, unlike desensitization, authentic healing is a long process.
Life is not easy. It’s meant to challenge us. There are no magic wands to take us from Point A to B like in fairy tales. We often tell others how to think, feel, and live coming from a simplistic view of humanity. We might do this not because we are stupid or mean, but because we don’t know or understand ourselves or why we are even here. So we tell others how to do life based on how little we understand our own complex selves.
Those who say happiness is a choice might be unhappy with themselves and their life and don’t realize it. And when they see others looking unhappy, it only reminds them of how unhappy they are. Since we are all connected, we often mirror one another. What we see in someone else is often a reflection of our shadow (the part of ourselves we don’t want to see). We try to shut others down so we can avoid looking at ourselves. If we are TRULY happy, however, we accept people for who they are and where they are. Happiness and empathy are one in the same. Happiness doesn’t require anyone to be a certain way. We happy people live off our own batteries — not other’s.
Is happiness a choice? To challenge the loud drumbeat outside of me, I don’t believe misery is chosen consciously. I think we like to think that way as our limited mind tries to make sense of an unlimited, multidimensional, mysterious and complicated external world. When we don’t know ourselves, our lens in which we view the world is simple, narrowed and clouded by unresolved wounds of the past. So, when we discover who WE are, we automatically understand everyone else. And when we understand everyone, it is so easy and effortless to love everyone. And that is why it is often said to “know thyself” since that is the key to becoming fully conscious and aligned with All There Is.
“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” ~Socrates
A great lecture by Teal Swan that is relevant to this topic. Teal discusses how we use spirituality and religion to bypass the emotions from pain we need to grow: