By Ruth Lera
When I first had this realization it hurt.
It hurt really bad to see in myself that feeling good, having fun, pampering myself in anyway just in a no way was a priority for me. Because the world was in trouble and we had to fix it and there was shit to get done in the day, these were the belief systems at the root of my inability to care about being happy.
You see, I’ve always been more of a workhorse then a playful type.
Choosing to turn compost over going out with friends or spending my evenings working on non-profit work rather then watch a movie. That is what is used to be like for me, before it all changed. Before I hit the wall, burnt out and crumbled into my bed unable to get out. And as anyone who has been to hell and back can tell you, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
But I still don’t care about being happy.
Yesterday I was describing to a friend the differences between the way my life is now, after quitting my government job, dedicating myself to years of devoted meditation practice, training in energy healing and becoming very committed to healing myself so I can help others heal, to what it was before when I was turning compost in my committed workhorse way.
I told him how before I was a manic mess, who never sat down to take a break for one second during the day because if I did I would be slammed with a torrential downpour of negative thoughts about myself, a full on shame-attack. And to avoid this shame-attack I just kept moving. Doing all good things with my time but even in the midst of it all I knew it was out of control. But I didn’t believe it would ever stop.
But it has stopped.
To my amazement it came to an abrupt stop.
No more whirlwind workdays seven days of the week, no more shame attack, unfortunately also no more compost turning or non-profit work, but it seems that this was just part of the shift. So, I was telling my friend about how all the craziness has stopped and how now I rest during the day and get a lot less done and how that is just fine (although sometimes when I look around the messy house I miss a little bit of that manicness).
And his question to me was, “Are you happier now?”
And the truth is his question just didn’t compute for me.
Am I happier?
How does a person who has never cared about being happy gauge if she’s happier? Because although I haven’t cared about being happy there is one thing I have cared about deeply. I have cared about truth for the purpose to lessen suffering in this world.
This is my heart’s desire.
It is what has driven me through my manic crazy busyness, through my many hours of meditation practice and through my intense personal training in energy healing.
Is this what Bodhisattva means? I really have no clue.
But in the last couple of days it has really hit me how little I will ever be able to do. How inadequate I am in the face of the total mass of suffering in the world.
And it hurts.
It hurts in the good way that only the thing I love can hurt, and this is truth.
So, am I happier? I really don’t care.
Do I feel more connected to truth? More connected to my truth and the truth of others and the truth of the divine? Yes, I do.
Do I feel the truth of the suffering in the world? In the last few days I sure do. And I will take this open-heartedness, truthful suffering feeling experience over happiness any day because this is what is real to me.
Ruth Lera is the friend you turn to when your world has gone all topsy-turvy. Not because she tells you it’s all going to be alright but because she reassures you that not being alright is just part of the whole process of being human. And she might even give you some ideas about how to feel better, too. Find her at her website, her Facebook page or Twitter.
Editor: Ty H. Phillips