Monday Momtra “Following Your Joy Can Feel Downright Shitty”. By Tiffany Sara Taylor 7/24/2017.

Hello All! <3

As always, I encourage you to discern any considerations I offer against your own inner knowing. We are each on our own journey of self-discovery and what resonates with one soul may not for another.

“Follow your highest joys” or “pursue your bliss” seem to be the montras of choice for many, from the mindful humanist to spiritual seekers of all dogmas…or even the ones that claim no dogma. And while there is not a cell in my body that would argue with the notion of “joy for everyone”!....the road to the real stuff, the genuine joy…in reality, what even is that? And is it as easy as just hopping from one stepping stone of happiness to the next? For me it’s more than the happiness hop. And no, it’s not always easy.

The more I have considered what my “highest joys” even are, the more I have realized that the truest notion of that extends into a very different perspective than just this human one that I am walking around in. My soul perspective is so much broader than simply the one in this body. Yet the experience of both definitely intersects. And I guess that’s…“life”.

Consider that what seemingly brings our “human” fulfillment is very different than what our soul sets forth for our experience on earth.

While most people who are committed to the journey of growth and self-discovery have surely considered this, I also feel that it’s easier to just by-pass the soul challenge found here altogether. The wounded and unacknowledged parts of us are tempted to reach for an esoteric elixir to soothe over anything that might be….well, painful. The “love and light” Kool-Aid tells us that every bit of it should be easy. Should feel good. Should be airy, fairy and sparkly. Make us happy (or at least bounce us back to happy really, really quickly). So what’s wrong with fairies and sparkles, right? Nothing. I love ‘em. But I do feel there is something more.

I have come to realize that I don’t feel my soul desires unchanging, static contentment. Hey, moments of it are great. Needed. But those moments can translate to stagnancy and complacency. And then I like inspiration. I want momentum. My soul desires…experience. Freedom. New awareness and understandings. Different perspectives and expressions of love. And the kicker is…I find all of the above when engaging with changing experiences, instead of fighting against them. I find these things when I am not afraid to confront and unravel conditions and beliefs that never really belonged to me. I find these things when I witness illusions that I am carrying around that hold back my acceptance of both myself and others.

And that process? Well, it can just feel shitty sometimes. It can hurt. It can feel uncomfortable. It can feel uncertain and ambivalent. And those feelings for me…yeah, they’re historically not my favorite feelings. But going through those shitty feelings and the attached experiences?…they have been some of my biggest breakthroughs in taking responsibility for my own joy in this life.

 

10 lessons in pursuing joy that have just hurt like hell:

 

  1. I am worthy of joy. Seems like a simple enough statement, right? But coming to an authentic acceptance of my worth has been one of the biggest challenges in my life. Connecting with that little girl that still lives within me. My playful innocence. The purity of who I am. That place in me that holds my purest potential of love, truth and acceptance. I am worthy both to give and receive. To love and be loved. I am worthy of reciprocity in that. I am worthy of my own feelings and desires, interests and opinions. And I am worthy of changing my mind. To feel and express whatever comes up. I had to unravel a lot of things related to familial, societal and religious conditions that taught me otherwise. Still am.
  2. True love is free.When I love others and am loved by others in a manner that respects honesty and growth as pillars of truth, the foundation of the commitment shifts from conditions and dependency to authenticity. That means there are no guarantees in love with physical presence (not with family, friends or romantic connections). I have to be willing to set people and situations free (as well as be turned free by others). I understand that love cannot be forced or coerced. Nor would my soul really ever want it to be. The love I think I have gained or lost from others, really emanated in an unlimited capacity from within me to begin with. In that regard it is always with me no matter how it is manifested in my daily reality.
  3. Change is constant. Life is always in motion. Change is the mechanism for overall growth, self-discovery and fulfillment. Actually, as I change, so does my external reality. As other people change, so does theirs. We are all in an ongoing dance of co-creation. My power lies in how I relate to change, either cooperating with it or resisting it. I find tremendous personal power when I can make peace in just “not freakin’ knowing”, and instead shift my energy to moving with and through it. Whatever it may be.
  4. Self-responsibility is a prerequisite to freedom. When I give my well-being and fulfillment up and away to circumstance, situations, systems, dogmas or other people, I am using it to defend my own complacency; using it as an excuse to absolve myself of not only my personal power but my responsibility to use it. Owning who I am, where I am, what I need…well, that’s my responsibility. It’s up to me to speak up, not for anyone to read my mind. And that may or may not be received the way I would prefer by the other people in my life (see number 3 ;). But it is still my job to own it. Each time I am honest about “me,” I say “yes” to more freedom. I accept and own who I am- and that is the gateway to FEELING free.
  5. My free will requires surrender. One of the great paradox points of life, this universe, all of creation. My desire to control sabotages my desire to trust. Maybe the purpose of my free will lies in giving over to trusting myself in how I navigate and relate to life (rather than a complacent surrender of power), regardless of what ever is actually happening.
  6. The best way to help others is to help myself. I am a recovering people-pleaser, over-extender, giver and martyr. Over-apologizer (so sorry, almost forgot to write that one ;). But I have come to realize…really realize that the only person I have any control over is myself. The most important person to care for first, is myself. That if I practice what I preach, my life exerts an assistance that my words and hands could never provide or prove if I don’t first offer to myself what I do everyone else. As cliché as it is…when I am full, I overflow. And more importantly, when I am full I am more discerning. I am more balanced. My giving comes from a healthier place and with healthier motives. And my giving becomes as much an act of receiving as my receiving is giving.
  7. Every painful experience serves to empower me. My insecurities, hurts, unresolved issues and general weirdness are my assets. They show me places that…really are lacking love. Holding me back from greater acceptance, authenticity and fulfillment. When I don’t acknowledge these things, they are still there. They actually steer my life from the backseat if I don’t address them. Avoiding painful experiences, conflict or feelings never makes them go away. They only fester, grow and manifest to gain my attention in other ways. When I face my pain it gives me the opportunity to show myself compassion. To release the fear of avoiding these things from controlling my life. To make new choices as needed to honor myself.
  8. The draw to self-honest is unrelenting. I know what I feel. I just do. That used to be more complicated for me to acknowledge and admit. Not anymore. I have learned that any person, organization, system, religion or dogma that has told me not to trust and honor what I felt? Was attempting some form of control. I would go so far as to say invalidating my feelings is invalidating my flow to and from divinity itself. All the very best things in my life have only ever come through my willingness to be real with myself, brave enough to make the subsequent choices. Vulnerable enough to own the shit out of all of it. This lesson has been incredibly messy for me at times. But I have learned that even when it’s bumpy, it’s hard and it hurts…when I don’t allow that process? My external reality, my own body and my heart turn up the heat until I do own it. Even when it doesn’t feel fair. Even when I don’t feel acknowledged by others. It’s ultimately me that can’t escape myself. I just can’t. And really? I no longer want to.
  9. Life exists in paradox. Life used to be more of a story to me. Good guys/bad guys. Mine versus yours. Them/us. My fault/your fault. Now most days I live with all of it. I can feel the gratitude with the resentment. The excitement with the fear. The peace and the uncertainty. Letting go of that story was not easy. I had to figure out who I was without it. I had to stop using it as my excuse. It has also been the most pivotal awareness in really learning about forgiveness. When I drop the story, I can see people are doing the best they can given the entirety of the circumstances. I can see that I am, too. That we all are.
  10. Connection is necessary. Genuine connection comes through my authenticity. Often we can think we need things that we really don’t. But just as often we can think we don’t need things that we really do. Connection is our lifeline to and from all that is. It’s our mirror. It’s life. It’s what we came for. I have to show up as me…to receive the connections that match. Period.

So, yeah, those lessons, moving through them feels really shitty sometimes. But… now I also have glimpses of realizations that remind me maybe…this is also my path to my joy. That my trail of bliss is many times littered with tears and heartache. This is the road of the soul. Dare I even say the evolution of it? The very purpose for my life experience on earth?…feels like maybe so.

Maybe our joy can be redefined as finding our courage, becoming aware of our growth, facing and overcoming our fears. Emotional breakthroughs which allow us to see ourselves and our world completely differently. The shedding which allows us to feel more acceptance, resolve and confidence in being ourselves. Making the cliche of it being about the journey and not the destination, a reality.

So I have decided to laugh as much as I am able. To be silly. To get angry, cry and feel hurt. Tell people what I want and need and risk rejection. Or even scarier maybe…risk acceptance. Do and say things that make sense to my heart. To be scared and brave. To be vulnerable and seek comfort. Speak up. Lean in and show up when needed. Set a boundary if necessary. All of it. I’m finding my joy in the experience of every marvelous, magical, conflicting, wonderful…and blissfully shitty moment. If we are only clinging to the moments we call “good” and “happy”…hear me…we are missing the rest of our joy. You and I? We are crazy, complicated, multi-dimensional masterpieces. Let’s live like that.

1ove <3

Tiffany

If you would like to connect for a one-on-one session as you navigate your journey of self-discovery, I would consider it my privilege and look forward to hearing from you.

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