Why you should let your sadness hit you like a truck
Watch a brilliant interview with Louis C.K. where he talks about the profound healing of letting yourself be with sadness below.
Every New Year, I choose a word of the year that I most desire to live by for the next 12 months. My word this year is JOY.
Well here's the message I received from the universe on joy after I proclaimed it as my word this past winter:
Universe: "If you want joy in a way you've never had it before, than you're going to get sadness in a way you've never had it before, too."
Me: "Wait, what? But I really just want joy, Universe! I've done sadness. I've been through the mess of life. I've paid my dues, haven't I? I simply want to be present to joy. Is that too much to ask?"
Universe: "Deep abiding joy doesn't come in a neat little box, Laura. You know this (you teach this, ahem!). Deep abiding joy comes when you're willing to surrender to your deepest sadness, your biggest shame, your most unnerving questions, and the messy nature of this life."
Me: "But, Universe, I just want to have my shit together. I don't want to bring anyone down. I'm here to help other people heal and live in their fullness. How am I equipped to do this with such sadness in my way?"
Universe: "You're still caught up in thinking you have to be perfect to do your good work in the world? Remember that living in your fullness means living in the full spectrum of your shadow and your light."
Me: "Can I change my Word of the Year, then? Maybe to something like, 'Avoidance'?"
That's how my conversation with the universe has been going since January. I've somewhat reluctantly stuck with my word JOY. And what I've learned is this:
If I want to live in my deepest joy I need to take a line from Louis C.K. and let my sadness hit me a like a truck.
Watch this enlightening (yet a little bit crass, you've been warned!) interview with Louis and Conan O'Brien to bring my point home.
"You need to build an ability to just BE with yourself and not be DOING something." ~ Louis C.K.
I've been grappling with what this all really means for me, especially when it's not easy to be with myself.
This year I've questioned everything. I've felt unnerved and out of sorts. I've felt deep, deep sadness. I have had many moments of tremendous joy, too. But, man, the universe isn't going easy on me this year and I know that I can no longer numb out the stuff that's hard for me to face.
Over to you:
Are you numbing out the parts of you that are hard to sit with? Are you often doing something to distract yourself from the magnitude of what your being is calling on you to feel?
I believe, in my heart of hearts, that even in our messiest and most vulnerable moments, there is nothing broken about you or me.
When I remember to sit and BE with myself, my wisdom reminds me of this:
The full spectrum of our humanity, from the mess and the pain to the grace and the joy all come together inside of us. We're not neat little boxes. We're big, messy, sacred, beautiful gifts that are meant to be opened. Open yourself up to the depths of who you are.
I believe, with all of my being, that the expression of your fullness is the best gift you can share with this world we're living in.
To the fullness of who you are,