The brief moment of joy quickly passed to confusion, then sadness, then balance, and then back again to sparks of joy watered-down by questioning.
I was confused by the emotional and spiritual process I went through. I had been published! My words in print. Was this not a vision come true? Was this not a distant dream?
But still, with the news, with the confirmation, I felt a lingering sorrow.
I know I was battling between what is ego and what is self-satisfaction. I wondered if they were indeed the same.
I know I battled with humility. I know for an instant I felt proud or pride, or some related cousin. And I didn’t like the feeling.
At first I thought I was feeling guilty–guilt for feeling good about an accomplishment. I reasoned I was stifling happiness with the guilt of pride and the fear associated with losing humility.
I compared myself to others, and what I “should” be doing; how I should be celebrating. And then I logically debated all the reasons why this publication was not celebration-worthy. I questioned my capacity to feel “good.” I questioned my adequacy as a being. I went round and round in this circle of mixed emotions and deep, complex opposing thoughts. I searched out the caverns of my mind, until exhausted. And then I sank into body submission of fatigue.
Last night I prayed for refinement and serenity. And for much of today, I have found peace. I understand that I do not have low self-esteem—to me this is illusion. I understand that when I am confused about how to feel, it is because I have based my emotions, like much things in life, on a rule-book that I created founded by personal experience filtered through my senses. I realize, too, that yesterday I was no further from the truth than I am now.
It’s not that I had or have low self-esteem. It’s not that I don’t think I am unworthy or worthy. It’s not that I am acting prideful or humble. I am none of those labels or names.
It’s not what I was or who I was. It was where I was. I was lost. I was lost and pulled away from my faith. I was momentarily swept out of the presence and present. I was enticed by outcomes and promises.
I recognize when I am tuned into the collective universe, when I believe in the magic of the world, in the magic of you and me, and in the beautiful infinite possibilities for love, it is then I am whole and complete. The feelings don’t get jumbled and the thoughts don’t get all twisted, when I am clear in my connection to my higher power and higher good.
On reflection today, I spent some two hours reviewing joy and reviewing sorrow.
In my mind I saw the illusions.
Even though one of my visions has been realized (being published), I am not as joy-filled as I had expected, or perhaps as others might have expected. And that is okay.
Today I am recognizing joy’s partner: sorrow.
I couldn’t have completed The Ten Traits without decades of suffering. The words would not have been searched out by others had they not first had cause. My message would not be whole without first being carved out through pain. Both yours and mine.
And thusly, I am left wondering if indeed I do understand joy quite well. That if in fact, I am in a state of continual joy. But only through recognition of the ashes of suffering.
I am joy.
Squeezing me out of me.
Releasing being like some over-expired lemon.
Disappointed in the bitter sour that remains.
Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze.
Some ravenous fowl picking away at barred plumage.
My substance an existential shell of resistance, once labored to create.
Inside whispers: Complete though illusion.
Outside weeps: Unworthy in existence.
Naked, though cloaked in tattered rags, I waver, from one to the other.
Bemused, as sadness quakes, I sleep soundly through unawareness.
Forgotten upon shallow waters.
Until waved onward to deeper grounds.
Still bearing witness to starlit nights.
Though standing erect in dissatisfaction.
Invited by command to denounce self.
The suspicion of being, the suspicion of joy, scoured.
Incomprehensible happiness holding the hand of the lingering voice of no one.
“The obsoleteness of temporary. The absolute of change,” clangs the bell of the imagined captains.
I respond without breath.
And I question.
In accepting misery to circumvent suffering, did I not modestly forbade self-joy?
In rendering joy denied, do I accept misery in completion?
Thusly moves the wheel.
One axle: Seeker of non-truth whom claims found truth righteous.
One axle: Seeker of truth whom believes found truth not-righteous.
Who is this joker? This shadow? This phantom?
This awkward misrepresentation set down.
Left to squander in misgivings.
Where does this joy I am speak?
When not formed in shape and drifting.
Where does this joy live?
When unseen unless trapped.
Captured fleetingly in passing moments when invisible brother is silenced.
When the suspicion is eased. When the noise erased.
There I sing, this joy released to captivity.
Caged amongst the residue of sorrow escaped.
I found this a day after I wrote this post. Made me feel better. ❤ http://drarorasclinic.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/happiness-tips-13-experts-weigh-in-on-the-pursuit-of-joy/