There’s so much pain in the world right now.
A hurricane devastating the South, the horrifying situation in Afghanistan, the ongoing terror of our climate emergency, the chaos and fear surrounding the Delta variant. And then of course, we each have our own personal pains: loneliness, trauma, lack of connection, overwhelm, anxiety, financial worries.
If you have been struggling to just take a breath, this article is for you.
I’m an incredibly empathetic person and I used to think that taking on the pain of the world was my role. If people or animals or ecosystems are suffering, I was right there with them suffering. I thought that meant that I cared.
If you’re subscribed to my newsletter or if you’re regular here on my blog, I’m guessing you are also someone who cares deeply, who wants to do the right thing, who is impacted by the suffering of others.
So let’s have some real talk.
Being happy is hard. Being happy right now is simply radical. When things are going crazy – in the world or in your own life – it’s so much easier to focus on that and choose sadness, despair, anger or frustration. What is much much harder is focusing on what IS working.
It can start small. It can start with just a few minutes of awareness of your own breath and body. It can be a scan of your life for things that are going well, even if it’s just having food or a roof over your head. After losing her life savings to Bernie Madoff’s scams, the writer Geneen Roth wrote, “What you pay attention to grows. Pay attention to your loveliness. Your magnificent self. Begin now.”
This is not about turning your back on what isn’t working in the world, or pretending that your life is perfect as it is. This is about deciding that you’re not going to wait for anything to shift – politically or personally – to experience daily minute-to-minute happiness and joyfulness.
Besides, happy people get more done!