This is a hard phrase for people. More Joy…Less Pain. I immediately think of a line from one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride, “Life is pain your highness, anyone that tells you otherwise is selling you something.”
Yes…life is pain. Pain is inevitable, in everything, even good things can have pain. As soon as we accept pain as natural, we can learn to work with it. Remember we are co-creators here with the Great Artist, consider pain a form of paint, color with it. Use it instead of letting it use you. Collude with it, ask it, “What do you want? What are you trying to tell me? Ask God to carry the pain with you.
Pain is an indicator for us to do…something…anything a call to action. Action towards positive outcome. Seek treatment, write the letter, have the difficult conversation, build a new life out of the ashes of the one you burned up in a decade of bad decisions. Act, move, use your pain as the catalyst to wake yourself up! Don’t waste your pain, it’s wasted time. Alchemize it into something beautiful, a piece of music, a story, a painting, a song.
Then…run after joy, stubbornly seek your own happiness. That’s right, get moxified (yes…I just made that word up) and take your pain with you as you seek your own joy. Just because pain is natural doesn’t mean we need to have it stick around longer then it needs to.
To give you an example of what this looks like, I was having a painful moment the other night. It was a song that just dropped me to my knees on the carpet with hot tears. I laid down on my back and prayed, “God…please just be here with me and help carry this pain with me.” The tears continued a bit longer as I let them wash the sad thoughts on to my cheeks, then something in me said, “Go for a walk.” Which I did.
I pulled my wellingtons on and wrapped my down coat around me and off I went into the darkness. The wind chilled my ears but in a few minutes, I looked around at the gently falling snow, felt the peace of quiet and the simple solace of wind rustling the oak leaves, and spent time smiling in wonderment at my neighbor June Bug’s balanced rock features- a work of zen art. Just like that joy in the middle of hot tears, a frosty night and a zen rock garden. Emotions…that’s how they work…they are the clouds in the sky, they float by and you have more control over your state then you think.
You can wallow in the sadness, or you can take action, and go for a walk. Choice is yours. Be stubborn…seek joy.