This morning, I was journaling. The world seemed heavy and complex. I felt myself stuck between this pretty damned good life that I have and all the complexities of the past that I just can’t seem to erase.
As I was writing, I felt like I had written these same things a hundred times before. For literally years, I’ve written these same things and just not found a way to make things right. Even though I’ve worked through these issues time and time before. Even though I’ve forgiven. Even though I see the value (the hidden opportunity) of these experiences. Even though my life now is good, happy, and content filled. Somehow, for some reason, I still can’t let these ghosts go.
What I truly want is for my life to be simple. Hi, my name is Tami Brady. I’m a writer and mother of three (four). Yep, right from the get go, it gets complex. You don’t know how many children you have? Well, three biological, one adopted. What made you want to parent another child when you were old enough to be a Grandma? Well, I’m actually both to the same kid. Regular Grandma to two more.
Then, they start to ask about my work. Whole Health, balance, content filled living. What brought you to that? Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I see that look. How can you write about such things with such complexities in your life?
Well, you write about what you know. I know complexity. I also know from experience that there’s hidden opportunity in those dark and scary clouds. That beyond denial and the want to be “normal” is acceptance of reality. That acceptance is the key to both healing and happiness.
So, with that said, why do these shadows haunt me? Why do I “what if”? Why do I crave simplicity when I have worked so very hard for the content filled life I have?
Well, part of that is that I’m not fully through the integration process. After all, it’s a process, a life process. But probably the biggest part of my issue is that sometimes I forget that I am indeed happy. I get so caught up in the thought that my life is complex that I start thinking (believing) that a person can’t have a complex life and be happy. That somehow the only way a person can be happy is if everything is perfect in their lives and has always been so.
Now, looking from a logical point of view that is a load of crap. There is no one alive (or dead for that matter) who hasn’t had some complexity in his or her life. Adam and Eve got kicked out of their home because they couldn’t follow the rules. Moses was abandoned. Jesus’ paternal parentage was uncertain.
Logically, we all know that everyone has complexity in their lives. Yet, we all believe that in order to be happy we have to be perfect, live perfect lives, and have no baggage. After all, isn’t that what virtually every product or service out there teaches us? Use this product and people will find you attractive. Buy this book and learn how to be successful. Go on this diet and you’ll feel great about yourself.
As I was writing this morning, a thought so profound that it was immediately obvious hit me square between the eyes. For most of my life, I’ve been working through one complexity or another, learning to heal and to integrate these experiences into who I am. But what if happiness isn’t something you seek? What if happiness is already there under the surface and we just have to allow it?
What if these ghosts are just excuses to punish myself (ie a diversion) from the reality that I am already happy? What if despite my past experiences, some not so pretty transitions, and all the layers of complexity of my reality, I am happy? What if the only thing I really have to do is remind myself of this fact?
With that realization, I see every self-help tool that I have ever used in a completely different way. Suddenly, it’s all about accepting reality. Seeing resistance within ourselves and working through that transition. All the while, realizing that whatever the complexity, it does not determine if we are worthy of being happy. We realize, we are already happy, we just have to recognize that it is our fear of complexity and our judgement of the messiness that occurs as we work through transition that makes us think that we aren’t.