Finding the Light.

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For the first time in a long while, I have felt a sweet sense of HOPE.

It feels as though I’ve found a way through the darkness and into the light of my true potential; a way to experience deep and sincere JOY! And to confirm what my heart was beginning to feel, the same reassuring message has echoed back to me in three seemingly separate sources all at the same time:

Listening to The Shadow Effect, I was better able to conceptualize how our shadows are there to help us see the light. There is no need to run from the pain of the past. I can embrace the shadow and the light as parts of the whole. Like day and night, yin and yang, these opposing forces are essential in creating emotional balance. I can use the dark and painful moments of the past to create purpose.

And again in The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desomond Tutu describe the difference between a ‘Hedonic happiness’ that “requires only positive states and banishes feeling like sadness to emotional exile.” and ‘Eudaimonic happiness’ which is “charaterized by self-understanding, meaning growth and acceptance, including life’s inevitable suffering, sadness and grief.” And the Dalai Lama goes on to describe how was able to navigate through the grief and sadness of losing a close mentor by “using it as motivation to generate a deep sense of purpose.”

Then my husband forwarded me this quote from the book, Before I Go: Letters to Our Children About What Really Matters:

Your muscles get stronger only by exercise, and exercise means meeting resistance, surfaces that oppose them. Boxers need sparring partners to train with. Our souls are boxers, too, and need hard times to spar with. The muscles of the soul are courage and character. They get stronger only through struggle and pain. In fact, they get strong only with some defeats, because strength of soul means wisdom, and wisdom comes from suffering. We learn the most from our mistakes.

You can’t be deeply happy unless you have a deep, strong soul. You can’t have a deep, strong soul unless you have suffered deep unhappiness. Therefore you can’t be deeply happy without ever being deeply unhappy.
— Peter Kreeft

Photo Credit: The gorgeous Angela Newton Roy

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