This week was one of the hardest of my entire life. A [metaphorical] nuclear bomb dropped on my life (or maybe I should say I dropped a nuclear bomb on my own life), and the radiation affected many people, some permanently.
Following the bomb, I didn’t eat or drink anything besides water for 46 hours straight (I do wonder how that was even possible, the body can definitely do crazy things when it’s in distress), and I skipped my workout class all week.
I went through so many humanely possible emotions including shock, sadness, loss, heartbreak, guilt, love, longing, fear, depression, despair, helplessness, confusion, courage, cowardice, pain, surprise, humiliation, and anxiety. I had to really look deep down and pray for clearance, answers, forgiveness, guidance…
To add to this rough time, I had a frickin’ periodontist appointment I couldn’t get out of because the nuclear bomb dropped last weekend, and my appointment (made 3 months ago) was on Monday. I couldn’t cancel it without having to pay so I had to go. Can you imagine having to go to the dentist/periodontist, on one of the worst weeks of your life? Yeah, it sucked haha (can laugh about it now), and it was painful too. Physically. Cleanings at the periodontist hurt, unlike the ones at the dentist. And they gave me bad news too, which I’m choosing to ignore for the time being.
So the rest of the week was about introspection and recovery. I had to be honest with myself and admit to my flaws, realize I’m not that “good person” I thought I was, stop being a hypocrite, break away from false self image. I never understood why I’ve been called a prideful person before, but now I understand better. I’m no better than everyone else (okay maybe a few people). Wait, Did I learn that lesson or not?
I also learned that there is a right way and a wrong way of doing things. Well, it’s not black and white, there are many ways of doing things, but I realized there’s a “better” way of doing things so that they don’t blow up, and so that things that follow can be started on the right note. One of the main ingredients to doing things right is honesty. I’ve always valued honesty, but many times in my life I’ve avoided saying the complete truth to “not hurt others”. I don’t lie, but I do keep information when I think it’s better. But as my life progresses, more and more I realize that it’s always better to say the truth because the pain you think you are sparing others, always manages to surface and often comes out stronger if there wasn’t complete honesty from the beginning.
There is still a lot to recover from, but I think the worst has past. I hope. I still have to deal with fallout, who knows for how long. And I’m currently on a journey of continuous self discovery, continuing to be honest with myself, continuing to strive to lead a selfless, compassionate, and loving life.
It is definitely hard to find small pleasures for this week, so instead I’ll focus on a few things I’m grateful for this week, as insignificant or otherwise as they may be.
So here are a few things I’m grateful for:
1. Unconditional support from family and friends. It’s always incredible to know you can count on these people no matter what. So darn grateful.
2. God and prayer. Without this I don’t know how I could’ve handled what happened. More importantly, I don’t know how I would’ve been able to move forward, find inner wisdom, and move on from pain at this pace.
3. Reconnecting with an old friend: Music. Music used to be big part of my life and for reasons I won’t get into, I lost my connection with it for many years. I’m thankful a friend [an actual human] brought me back to that passion and friendship [friendship between me and music]. Sorry, making this confusing, different types of friends involved.
4. Quick and easy fixing. During this whole thing our dryer broke. Everything broke! Okay, not everything, but it felt like it. And the dryer definitely was one of them broken things. It took less than 3 days to have it replaced (because they failed to fix it) and I didn’t have to lift a finger or pay a dime for it. (The advantages of living in an apartment complex.) Management dealt with it.
5. I’m also grateful to not have had to deal with an actual job during this rough time, and for new and fun paid writing opportunities that came this week.
6. I’m grateful for A/C during these hot summer days. And for hot running water, unlimited drinking water, food on my plate, chocolate in my drawer, and Netflix to help me distract me.
7. One funny thing did happen during a moment of crisis. Real life comic relief. I was outside, late, in the dark, alone.. (don’t ask), on my phone. Three guys walk by and one of them asks me if I’m catching pokemon. Even though I didn’t laugh on the moment, deep inside, I thought it was the funniest randomest thing ever. No, I had not heard of Pokemon Go yet (this happened last Sunday, and since, believe me, I’ve heard of Pokemon Go).
7. I’m grateful for my husband who dealt with cleaning the house when I didn’t have the emotional strength or motivation to deal with it. It was really helpful for my inner peace, which wasn’t there at the time, and a messy, dirty house would’ve made it worse. It’s something in general that often affects my mood. I like a clean home. It doesn’t have to be pristine, but let’s keep dirty clothes in the laundry basket, dirty dishes clean, sweep the floors, vacuum the carpet.. you know…
8. I’m grateful for a new outlook on life. I was stuck on a rut. My mind was narrow. I was stuck in a routine, even though I move a lot, even though my surroundings have been changing for years, somehow I was stuck on a rut. A spiritual rut. My life has been shaken. It’s allowing me to expand my vision, inward and outward. It’s allowing me to open the ears in my heart to God. It’s allowing me to reevaluate, and strengthen my beliefs, my values, and my will power, which I’ve always struggled with. It’s allowing me to progress in my spiritual journey, in which I was absolutely stuck and didn’t realize it before.
I don’t know what’s going to happen next. On top of everything, I’m dealing with more changes. We’re dealing with changing clients, possible new jobs, possible new homes (as our lease ends very soon)… We don’t know what to do next yet, where to go, if to go… It all depends on how finances and timing and God’s plan play out. Nothing is stable at the moment. I hate transition time, don’t you?
I knew it. I knew something big was going to happen in my life. I knew changes were coming. I knew it weeks/months ago. I felt it coming, in my heart, intuition. But sometimes even if you know, you can’t prepare. It’s been a crazy year, full of changes. And I don’t think it’s going to slow down for me. I still feel more changes coming. I hope next year can bring more peace and less chaos, or at least, I hope it can bring peace within the chaos, for myself and in the world, because it’s also been hell of a 2016 for the world.
That’s another one of my goals. I want to learn how to find peace and cheerfulness in my heart in spite of rough times. Impossible task? I think the British were really unto something when they came up with “keep calm, carry on.”
“Don’t worry, be happy” is another simple yet strong motto to live by. Worries never helped anyone. Never.
I achieved something this week too. Yesterday. I went on the longest hike of my life yet. 10.9 miles. That may not mean much for a lot of people but it’s my record and it’s kinda crazy to think about. My feet were so sore last night. It was good though. It was a good way to end an intense week. Nature hikes really help vent emotions and thoughts.
1. Live a selfless life.
“Persistent and continuous performance of good deeds wears out selfishness. Selfishness extended and expressed in the form of good deeds becomes the instrument of its own destruction. The good is the main link between selfishness thriving and dying. Selfishness, which in the beginning is the father of evil tendencies, becomes through good deeds the hero of its own defeat. When the evil tendencies are completely replaced by good tendencies, selfishness is transformed into selflessness, i.e., individual selfishness loses itself in universal interest. Though this selfless and good life is also bound by the opposites, goodness is a necessary step towards freedom from the opposites. Goodness is the means by which the soul annihilates its own ignorance.” (Discourses by Meher Baba Volume I Page 31 § Selfishness)
2. Don’t worry, be happy… remain cheerful amongst suffering.
3. Stop wanting.
“Selfishness, which is the common basis of these three ingredient vices [lust, anger, greed], is thus the ultimate cause of disappointment and worries. It defeats itself. It seeks fulfillment through desires but succeeds only in arriving at unending dissatisfaction.
Selfishness inevitably leads to dissatisfaction and disappointment, because desires are endless. The problem of happiness is, therefore, the problem of dropping out desires. Desires, however, cannot be effectively overcome through mechanical repression. They can be annihilated only through knowledge. If you dive deep in the realm of thoughts and think seriously for just a few minutes, you will realise the emptiness of desires. Think of what you have enjoyed all these years and what you have suffered. All that you have enjoyed through life is today nil. All that you have suffered through life is also nothing in the present. All was illusory. It is your right to be happy and yet you create your own unhappiness by wanting things. Wanting is the source of perpetual restlessness. If you do not get the thing you wanted, you are disappointed. And if you get it, you want more and more of it and become unhappy. Say, “I do not want anything,” and be happy. The continuous realisation of the futility of wants will eventually lead you to Knowledge. This Self-knowledge will give you the freedom from wants which leads to the road to abiding happiness.” (Discourses by Meher Baba Volume I Page 28 § Selfishness)
“The moments of pleasure occasionally appearing in the life of man soon vanish, like the rainbows, which shine in their splendour only to disappear from the sky. If these moments of pleasure leave any trace, it is of a memory which only augments the pain of having lost them. Such memory is an invariable legacy of most pleasures.
Man does not seek suffering; but it comes to him as an inevitable outcome of the very manner in which he seeks happiness. He seeks happiness through the fulfillment of his desires, but such fulfillment is never an assured thing, hence in the pursuit of desires man is also unavoidably preparing for the suffering from their non-fulfillment. (Discourses by Meher Baba Volume III Page 161 § The Conditions of Happiness: I)
Yes, these goals will be impossible to achieve as long as I am a mere mortal. But, I should say instead: the goal is to strive to achieve these three goals.
See what others were happy about:
This week’s small pleasures: episode 14 – Thistles and Kiwis
Middle Europe Weekly Small Pleasures #21 – Summer days | Middle Europe
Weekly Small Pleasures #22 – Summer in the city | Middle Europe
Share your happiness!
I find that the small things that make us happy every day are easily forgotten.
This blog event is simply about remembering and sharing those small things that made you happy during the week; things that made you smile, made you laugh, made you do a happy dance, made your heart smile…
You can share in any format you like. For people to find your post, tag your post “Weekly Small Pleasures” and link to my most recent post for a pingback! You can also just share in the comments.