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Making Room for Pain and Joy

Today, I am writing you with a cold.  Yep, a nasty head cold that has left me a tired exhausted mess.  I tried to ignore it, tried to push through and here it is 3 days in and quite honestly I feel quite lousy.  A I sat on the couch this morning willing myself to feel better, I knew the pull of the sofa cushions, my hot cup of tea and my DVR’d TV were just too much. So I finally listened to my body saying: relax, take some time off, and take care of YOU.  I admit I can be a little dense at times about self care and tend towards the push, push, push side of life. So getting sick is usually my body’s way of saying OK, you have pushed enough, it’s my turn.

Honestly, days like today when I am struggling to feel good I question the concept of living happier.  Especially during the Live Happier Daily Challenge. However,  I believe Living Happier is not about ‘thinking positive’ and ‘reframing the situation’ (although that can be helpful) MORE so it is about recognizing when you need to take a break, allowing yourself to have a bad day, feeling the pain, sorrow and grief that happens in life.  It isn’t about ignoring sickness and ‘powering through’.  It is about recognizing today I just ain’t feelin’ it so I am going to live happier by hanging on the couch.  Recognizing that writing my blog and seeing my clients this afternoon is about all I have and the rest of the day is going to be filled with naps, bad TV and hot tea.  Today I am going to stop ignoring my bodies loving yet pestering voice saying “rest, relax, get better” and embrace it.

Living Happier isn’t about ignoring the pain and suffering in life it is about balancing it with the rest of life.  It is about acknowledging the thought, message, feeling or pain and allowing it some space in your life.

Yes, that balance is hard.  Making room for both pain and joy is a challenge.  And yet, I believe that is truly Living Happier.  Recognize we don’t have to push through the pain and even in the midst of the pain there can be joy. At every funeral there is laughter. At every bedside there is a memory, a smile.  We can grieve and be grateful.  It is in the doing of both that Living Happier exists.

So today I ask you where might you be ignoring yourself?  

Ignoring the pain? 

Ignoring the exhaustion? 

Ignoring your internal voice saying “you deserve better”? 

Ignoring the ‘bad’ feelings?

Ignoring the tears?

Ignoring the “this doesn’t feel right” voice?

Ignoring something/someone you have been putting off?

You can ignore it for awhile, you can ignore the pain, the sorrow, the knowing voice—but I can guarantee you–you won’t Live Happier.  The only way around is through.

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