It's OK to be OK
Dear Ones, These days I am finding it helpful to remember the Buddha's encouragement that it is OK to be happy even when big stuff is going down!
“Live in joy, in love, even among those who hate. Live in joy, in health, even among the afflicted. Live in joy, in peace, even among the troubled. Look within, be still. Free from fear and attachment, know the sweet joy of the way." ― Gautama Buddha I've noticed I (and many of my girlfriends in particular) carry a burden of guilt for not doing enough or being able to help as we would like, and this voluntary suffering helps no one. I'm not suggesting you plaster a smile over real feelings, or take a spiritual bypass to indifference . I have shed many cathartic tears, held my scared little one regularly (even building her a literal fort!), and pounded the bed hollering my frustration in this COVID ride. I want to feel this fully to the bone. And, I invite us all to have full permission and willingness to enjoy and savor the moments of happiness and peace we find. Consider whether abiding in that lightness and holding a wide open heart may actually help all those who are suffering far more than suffering along side them. Thich Nat Hanh talks about a boat of refugees in a violent storm and how if just one person holds the center, and stays connected to that deep peace, that can be enough to save the whole group. We tend to make poor decisions when we are coming from fear. It's OK to be OK. And yes, there are real challenges. You will meet them more effectively from an expanded place. I ask myself- "Am I willing to totally enjoy my life?" And then I move and breathe and sound, and see if I can physically line myself up with that: "I am willing to totally enjoy my life." I say it over and over until I feel that willingness coursing through my whole body. It doesn't mean it's magically all roses but rather that you're not selecting the thorns to obsess over. To this end, see my 3-Brain Meditation based on Rick Hanson's work, where we practice really taking in the good and upsetting the brain's negativity bias.
And if you need a good laugh, consider my favorite funny movies and shows for some skillful titration of the intensity: Films: Booksmart (Hulu), Long Shot (HBO), Spy, The Other Guys (Netflix) and TV: I'm Sorry (Netflix) and, for all around nervous system down regulation: Gilmore Girls (Netflix) or the Texas Chainsaw Massacre ;)