“I’ve learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our disposition and not on our circumstances.” ~ Martha Washington
“There is no greater sorrow than to recall in misery the time when we were happy.” ~ Dante Alighieri
“Happiness is a garden walled with glass: there’s no way in or out. In Paradise there are no stories, because there are no journeys. It’s loss and regret and misery and yearning that drive the story forward, along its twisted road.” ~ Margaret Atwood
“If there’s one thing I’ve discovered, it’s that stifling yourself will only lead to more misery. I polluted all other happiness because I was afraid to let myself create and change. You have to have courage. Real courage to explore, to fail, and to pick yourself back up again.” ~ Siobhan Vivian
from The Desk of MarDrag:
I have been talking to people lately about Happiness and Misery. About positive and negative. And about the focus we put on one or the other, and what grows from that as a result. So many are experiencing some level of Misery in their lives and are finding it difficult to step out of it, or turn their attention to the positive and good things in their lives or in the world too. It is very easy to succumb to Misery…its tentacles reach deeply within us, and it knows just where to clutch to reach the deepest…and then twist.
I was in meditation the other morning, when some profound thoughts about Misery made their way into my mind. And they were this:
Misery is the sum of negative or hurtful things that have happened to us. As pain or regret or all the myriad of emotions that come from hurt, betrayal, and fear take up residence in our hearts and minds…they form a cloud of Misery. That cloud hangs above our heads and follows us, raining down on us and making us Miserable…until we can work through or break free of whatever had caused those emotions. Sometimes it is easier, and we move past it back into Happiness. But, sometimes, the path is long and arduous and full of reasons and circumstances that feed our Misery.
It is here that a revelation came to me. Misery…is our Proof! It is proof that what we went through meant something, or still does mean something. It is proof we felt something, experienced something profound and deep. It is proof of our reasons to be unhappy. It is evidence that we have suffered. And, if we let go of the Misery…are we afraid that it will negate our suffering as if it never happened? If we allow ourselves to be happy, does that mean we never suffered, or that it was not as bad as we thought? If we let go of our Misery, will it render no more meaning to that which we went through that led us to that Misery? And, if it did render our suffering meaningless…what would that mean for us? That all the steps we take toward growth and happiness in the name of pain are unfounded? And ho!…would that make us frustrated, angry, and upset to think that the rough times we have been through would end up meaning naught.
Is this why we hold onto Misery? To Prove, and have Evidence, that we have Suffered, and that it meant something, and had profound impact, on us, someone else, or the world?
That is a tangled web…is it not…if it be true?
For, in order to be Happy, we must relent and let go of Misery. Not that we can expel it completely, for Misery IS a part of life’s experiences…but that we live with Misery…rather than in it. And in order to do that, we have to stop wanting to prove how bad our lives have been, and start looking at what is good now, and what good we can create for the future. Nothing and no one can ever erase the circumstances we experienced or the hurt they created. And they will always mean something, because they are part of what has made us who we are today. So…they can never be negated. We…and our suffering…can never be negated as long as we have acknowledged what has transpired and the feelings it caused. But then, we need to let go.
We cannot escape occasional Misery. But, we can give it a different perspective. And ask ourselves…How long do we want to have to prove how bad it was/is and how right we are by living in Misery? And how soon do we want to move on and open our hearts, minds, and souls to showing how well we survived it all…and how much good we are making in our lives.
The best revenge they say…is Living Well.