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As we move through this journey of life there are bound to be snags. No matter how much we think positive, practice gratitude or set heartfelt intentions break-ups, heart ache, loss of loved ones, sickness, unemployment and other tragedies occur. The act of Living Happier is not getting lost in these events. Finding a way to be honest and intentional about our feelings without resorting to old coping mechanisms of numbing, addiction, isolation or mis-directed anger.
Whether I am struggling with a major tragedy or just dealing with every day fear and worry I amazed at the ease to which I can slide into denial, numbing or projecting (putting my fears on to someone else). Unfortunately, these ‘coping mechanisms’ usually end up causing more pain and drama than the original tragedy.
I have learned:
when I am intentional and honest about my fears and sadness
when I share them with those who love and me and will witness without judgment my pain
when I practice compassion for myself and full acceptance of where I am
when I trust myself and my unique process in dealing with pain
there is radical change.
The pain doesn’t go away but the added pain of the false coping mechanisms doesn’t take over. I confess, my initial tendency is to hide these feelings from myself and most especially others. To bury them deep down and try to pretend they aren’t there. It is that act of burying that leads to TROUBLE.
Over the past decade I have learned and embraced that the act of being intentional and aware leads to freedom. I still struggle, I still fail but more times than not I am able to find peace in the midst of tragedy.
This quest is why I chose the book True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart by Tara Brach as this month’s Live Happier Book Club selection. I have been wanting to read this book for awhile and it has been sitting on my night stand since it first came out. (True confession: that is why I started the book club so I would read all the books I have been wanting to read.) Tara’s book Radical Acceptance changed my life and is a book I have read over and over learning something new each time. I hope you will join me in reading this book and if you live in the Columbus area join me for the book club discussion. Even if you haven’t read the book–you can still join in the discussion (discussion guides are provided).
I would love to hear from you in the comments…How do you live happier through your pain? What are some books you have found to be helpful in your quest to Live Happier?
Join us for the Live Happier Book Club!! Saturday, March 29th from 11am-1pm at Panera Bread Community Room 875 Bethel Road Columbus, Ohio 43214. To receive reminders about upcoming book clubs and copies of the discussion guide, please enter your email address here.