Part of the earthly job title I have given myself in my work is ‘Happiness Coach’. This title may make you believe that I’m here to help you erase all sadness in your life so you can experience life in a state of total happiness, 24/7. But this isn’t the case, not at all.
Ask yourself: “Would you always WANT to be happy?” At first you may likely answer “YES! Who wouldn’t want to be always happy?” And that seems to be a very fair point, at first…
As Happiness Coach it is not my mission to take sadness out of the equation so that you can be happy for the rest of your life. Because the beautiful thing of having the unique human experience is the presence of emotions. And these emotions come in many flavours of which happiness and sadness are a couple which we experience regularly. However, we hold happiness in high regard and we would rather get rid of sadness.
What if I told you that if you were to live in a constant state of happiness, you would not be happy all the time? How would you be able to experience happiness if you never experience sadness? With the human experience comes dualism, which means that in order to have a conscious experience we need a spectrum on which every experience exist. How would you be able to tell something is warm if you didn’t experience cold? How would you know a rock s heavy if you don’t know the lightness of a feather? How would you know if a stone is hard when you know cotton to be soft?
It is not the presence of sadness that narrows our joy in life. In fact, without sadness we wouldn’t experience joy at all. However, it’s the identification with, and the resistance to, sadness that obstructs us to enjoy our human experience to the fullest. When sadness arises in us we take it personal. We believe we are sad, and we feel this is unwanted as we identify our personality with this emotion. When feeling sad, we do whatever we can to not feel this way. And as we resist sadness, we actually give it more fuel. We may be able to temporarily bury it as we watch a feel-good movie, we eat some chocolate, have a drink or whatever else we do to dull this emotion. We may also have a good chat with ourselves and tell ourselves we shouldn’t be feeling sad, that our sadness in this particular issue is trivial (and we compare how lucky we are to be western, after all we could have been born in poverty somewhere in Africa). But none of these tricks make our sadness go away. As we find these tricks to look the other way we don’t realise we are giving sadness more energy for it to later arise in us even stronger. Because sadness isn’t there to be taken away or ignored. Nor can it be taken away or ignored, as you probably have found out through during your life.
Now take happiness. When we feel happy, there’s no way we try to hide it. We are not going out of our way to smother it, to put it aside, to pretend it isn’t there. We enjoy it, we bath in it, we gladly identify with it and we never want it to stop. Do you see how wanting happiness without having sadness means you prefer to only be partly human?
One of the most beautiful discoveries of being human is that happiness and sadness are on the flip side of the same coin. One couldn’t exist without the other. Therefore as Happiness Coach it is my mission to help you see how sadness allows for happiness, and that sadness isn’t the end of the world. Allowing sadness as part of your life, feeling it without judging it, and experiencing it without personally identifying with it paves the way to see the bliss that sadness offers. When this is experienced in the heart and when the personification of sadness is lifted, we will welcome sadness into our lives the same way we welcome happiness into our lives. We will come to realise that there are no good and bad emotions, just emotions. And it is these emotions that make our human experience so unique.
Thank you sadness! Thank you for your presence.