How do we find Joy when life is difficult, when the days feel long, when we are utterly exhausted, when we sometimes just want the day to just be over, when we are so exhausted and overwhelmed by the voice in our head and the racing thoughts.
Those are the days when we must love ourselves more and we must love our children more. These are the days we often have to work that bit harder at being present in the moment to find the Joy in it.
If we just stop saying things like why me, why does life hate me, why does this have to be this way, we will learn the lessons we are here to learn much quicker, we will learn to accept and let go and surrender to what is. It is when we go against the flow that we just make it harder for ourselves.
In fact, it is in those moments that we find purpose and Joy when we are engaged in the awareness of pure presence.
When life is difficult, I look for my little rays of hope, finding one thing each day to be grateful for, and I ask what can I learn from this experience that is present in my life, what is it trying to teach me?
They are the days we need more rest, perhaps saying no to things that are not urgent, and really taking care of only what has to be done in order to allow our bodies and particularly our minds to rest.
We must not go through life thinking that our ultimate goal is happiness because it is not.
We are here to feel a range of emotions and it is human to feel them. It is in feeling them that we experience our humanness.
We must feel them to be truly connected to ourselves and others.
You can only love others as much as you love yourself, so if you want to love others more. You have to love yourself more first! Yes, this is absolutely true!
I think the times when you are struggling the most, are often the times you don't like yourself the most, but ironically this is when we must give ourselves the most love because it is the growing conditions for the best parts of our growth. We can't change without accepting and loving ourselves unconditionally. Each moment we choose to love ourselves, especially when we feel horrible or are not being our best self to others we can only then step into what I like to call the conscious space where you start to feel the effects that loving yourself has. You start to feel the abundance in your life.
We are not aiming for perfection, we are moment by moment trying to bring that beautiful presence we want to feel into our lives because when we are there we are much closer to Joy again. Joy is a choice.
Joy is a belief we hold in the heart. Joy is a purposefully made choice.
Just for the record, it's not important that have to feel a certain way all the time, your not somehow a bad or failing parent because you don't find Joy right now in everything. It's OK. It takes time to create these habits and changes and you must be patient with yourself.
I used to get so angry about feeling angry, what I realised was that I was never going to get away from anger without first acknowledging where that anger came from, ie a hurt or pain and only then by acknowledging it could I start to learn the art of loving myself, learn the art of purposefully finding joy and not staying in the cycle hoping I would just stop being angry all the time. All emotions have a purpose, yes anger too!
We must honour how we feel and where we are to find the awareness in making the changes that we want to see in our lives.
I want you to know that you deserve to feel Joy and you deserve to feel good in yourself. You are always good enough. You deserve to love yourself unconditionally.
Joy is not an emotion.
Joy is an attitude of belief that we create.
Joy is like a balm that soothes us.
Joy comes from within us, it is not merely based on what is happening that is positive in our daily lives but it is our creation of attitude within our heart in all the seasons of life.
Joy is different from happiness, Joy is a choice we make with purpose - whereas happiness is a feeling when life is good and you feel happy or contentment - an emotion.
Happiness becomes the consequence of what we do.
I grew up believing that happiness was the most important thing and if I wasn't happy something was wrong.
I grew up with discontentment, pain, and suffering, my parents asking me often was I happy?
The truth is I didn't know what happiness was, nor did I know how to find it.
The magic is in the honouring of all the emotions and knowing that we are not trying to reach an end goal of happiness.
I remember my mum getting upset often and saying all I want is for you to happy in life.
I felt so confused and unsure why I didn't feel happy. It was in her own unhappiness and sorrow that all she wanted in herself was to feel happy. I understand that she was going against the flow - thinking she needed to be one way and wasn't so thoughts she was failing.
Seeing the discontent in herself that was all she could see. All she wanted was to be happy and for me to be happy but there was the problem. She was not acknowledging all the other things in her life that needed to be acknowledged. you can't get to happiness without crossing over into other emotions first. You can't skip past and avoid sadness. Each emotion plays a part.
You cannot feel happy when there is discontent, you have to honour all the emotions. You can't just experience only the ones you want.
Happiness is not a destination, Happiness is just one emotion.
If we were always happy we would never experience any other emotions.
Parents struggle to see their children hurt or in pain, but when they brush off the pain the child is in, for example the child could have fallen over, they just want to make the crying stop, they want the child to smile, they want the child to be happy again. They teach their child that those emotions do not have a place. They stop the child from experiencing the pain. The child knows that once they have cried and had a hug, they are OK again because they have let out the emotion that needed to be expressed.
In those moments of pain, we just need to hold the space and learn to be comfortable in that pain for them, you sometimes have to sit through the discomfort until it feels comfortable. Sometimes you don't need to ask them questions, you just need to give them space and a warm hug and a loving presence that says, you are safe to express your pain and hurt. You don't need to stop them from feeling it, they need to feel it. Just like you do to. Do not push it away. It has to sit with you, next to you. Within you.
If we don't learn to do that as a child, then it becomes a habit that is formed and we do not express our hurts as adults, we hold onto them and it does cause illness in the body in the form of mental health.
I finally felt what happiness was when I honoured all my emotions and understood that we are meant to feel all our feelings.
We need to give that space to our children as well.
How can they answer big questions when they haven't had the time and space to really feel their feelings?
That was a pretty big moment in my life when I learned this from my own experiences.
Life goes through waves.
Sometimes the waves feel so smooth, flowing, and rhythmic and other times those waves can feel so heavy like you are drowning.
What goes up must come down.
The beauty is when you accept that life is flowing and you can go with that flow and not fight against it, even if things are difficult you can still go with the flow, you can allow the emotions, let go, process and once again the waves will be smoother again. Often it's the fighting against the feelings that makes it worse.
It does take practise, and it was something I didn't learn in childhood so it was a harder lesson to learn and a habit that took longer to create.
Now I am able to sit in the discomfort and take care of me. Really notice how I am feeling in myself and honour each if those feelings.
That is how you take a step in honouring your mental health and well being.
You check in with yourself often.
Whatever season of life you are now in, you will experience these waves throughout life. So it's time to get comfortable with them.
We grow the most when we get uncomfortable when we get forced out of our comfort zone and into something that pushes us that bit further into becoming who we were always meant to be.
When our children see us honouring our emotions, and we take time to hold the space for them too. They become comfortable with being truly in their bodies and are more connected.
There will be more Joy in the home, in Family Life when we don't try and rush past the difficult parts, but we honour each of them as the gift that they are.
Just like plants need the darkness and the light to grow so do we.
Love Jade xox