Each day is a possibility to re-discover the beauty that rests within life and within yourself. Although life is full of difficulties, it is also overflowing with deep and unbounded joy; joy which you can tap into no matter what your circumstance is. Here are five reasons why you should let that beautiful smile of yours shine today:
Your life is full of possibility and it could be brimming with excitement if you allowed it to be. Although sometimes our options in life are limited due to whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, no matter where you are in life, there is still a vast realm of possibility and opportunity that can be tapped into, if you are willing to venture there. Many of us prefer to dwell in our comfort zones (which is sometimes a good thing) and we fear to even ponder the untapped potential within ourselves. That is because recognizing and acting on our potential would mean A.) permitting change and new experiences to come into our life, which can be scary B.) actually taking responsibility for our life and to living a life committed to actively fulfilling our potential and C.) This may mean letting go of people or circumstances that no longer serve us, which is also difficult. Yet, when we put aside the scary stuff, we can remember that the spirit of mankind soars when it encounters new challenges, experiences and the evolution of one’s self. We can see this clearly when we watch a young child who is shakily pedaling down the street for the first time on his new bike, yet wearing the biggest, most heartwarming smile. We can observe how absolutely exhilarated this child seems to be. This incredible feeling of exhilaration has not been lost on us, because it is intrinsic to our nature, which is drawn toward adventure and the progression of one’s self– how else do you think we evolved from simple cells into the complex mystery of human beings that we are today? Each day, work to embrace possibility and meditate on the fact that nothing in life is so binding that there is not another way, and a happier path in which you can pursue.
Life’s really not all that bad, and if you think that it is, you require a shift in perspective. I realize you’ve probably heard this before, and when you’re in a bad mood and someone tells you that you need to shift your perspective, you probably just would like to shift the position in which you’re standing so that you can successfully karate chop this person in the face. Nonetheless, although what they are saying is true, they are not taking into account that a shift in perspective is often a long, and arduous process. Therefore, I am not suggesting that you can miraculously wake up tomorrow morning as chipper as a songbird if you are in the trenches of depression today. I am suggesting that even though we all go through painful events and emotions in our life, that pain and suffering do not have to be the undercurrent of our existence, and that perspectives are malleable: they are not fixed truths. What I mean by this is, I have met individuals who are very pessimistic about life and seem to hold as an inalterable truth that pain is what life is ultimately centered around. Although pain is a part of life, it seems to be that what keeps these individuals stuck endlessly in their pain is merely the attachment to this idea and their lack of open-mindedness at the possibility that their current perspective may not be a fundamental truth, but rather a subjectivity. I believe that if we humble ourselves to life and accept that there is always more to learn, then it is easier to not remain in the pitfalls of darkness.
This world is beautiful. This is not to say that there are not very, very ugly things in the world. I tend to find cockroaches and piles of trash especially abhorrent. Yet, if we can see the beauty in all aspects of life, we are pretty lucky people. The sentiment of beauty is a hard thing to capture because we can find beauty in the most unexpected places. However, this mysterious emotion is not necessarily a fleeting, unobtainable enigma floating through your inner world—it is also a point of view in which you can actively cultivate. You can cultivate the recognition of beauty in all things by deeply appreciating life just the way it is. When one is profoundly grateful for his or her existence, including the threads of pain, loss, and darkness which are inextricably woven within the fabric of life, this person finds beauty in all things because this person sees all of life as a beautiful gift. When we can find ways to appreciate things in our life, we can see beauty in both the darkness and the light of existence, because we have obtained the gift of joy: which is accessible to all.
There are people that love you. I don’t care who you are, what you are like or what you have done: I can promise you that there is someone in your life who cares for you. You may not even know who these people are, but they are there. There are people out there that are willing to help you in your time of need. When we are feeling especially disappointed in humanity, we must remember that every human being has their own set of problems that they are dealing with, and at times, people are so overwhelmed with attending to the issues in their own lives, that they have little left over to give the rest of the world—including you. When you are feeling angry with others, try to remember the words of Plato who asserted “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Do not overlook the kindness of strangers, or a simple, considerate gesture. Allow yourself to remember the goodness in others and that kindness will always find its way back to you if you give it in return. Love does exist within the hearts of others, however, love is most nourishing when it is felt within one’s own being, in a manner that does not wholly require an object of one’s love or being the object of someone else’s love.
There is joy inside of you. No matter how deeply buried in sadness that you feel, there is still a light of joy within you, waiting to be rediscovered. Sometimes this light is dimmer than other times; however, it can never be fully extinguished. I believe that this joy lives on, often times quietly, in the heart of every human being, because I find that joy is one of the fundamental aspects of our being. In moments of silence I think you may find that beneath those layers of pain in your heart, and even though it is barely remembered, the glimmer of joy that you felt perhaps as a child, or while in the warm embrace of a loved one—has never actually left you and this joy can continue to grow. Just as I find joy to be a fundamental aspect of our being, so I also find pain to be. However, it seems as though throughout most of our lives, we are presented with a choice: whether or not to let our joy, or our pain prevail. I hope you choose your joy.
This is the post I wrote for The Narrator, the blog of the New York Writers Coalition, as featured here: http://narrator.nywriterscoalition.org/2013/04/friday-5-reasons-to-be-happy-today