Lighten Up When the World Seems Heavy

Lighten Up When the World Seems Heavy
Adapted from the works of
Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

Don’t be concerned about being disloyal to your pain by being joyous.
– Pir Vilayat Inagat Khan

Have you ever felt that you can’t experience any form of happiness when you are hurting? You could be stressed out, grieving, brokenhearted, angry, scared or disappointed, but then something wonderful happens – maybe small, maybe big – and you feel like a traitor for enjoying the moment. Why? Most of us have no problem letting something put a damper on our happiness. Why should we treat our pain any differently?

Just because the world seems like a worrisome place
doesn’t mean we can’t laugh too.

All of those feelings described above are elements of pain, and pain acts as a damper to living the best life we can. As Susan wrote in End the Struggle and Dance With Life, ”It seems that we live in a very ‘heavy’ world at the present moment. There is so much that seems to be weighing us down. Lightness and fun are missing elements in most people’s lives.”

Seriousness tends to be people’s natural state – we work so hard to be rational, logical and structured. How can we learn to ”dance with life” when we are so serious all the time? ”Dancing with life, by definition, means curving, blending, bending, circling and flowing – like nature. ‘Bad’ dancers are straight, stiff and methodical, totally out of harmony with the ceaseless flow of the energy of the Universe.”

The worry and discord of life will always be here, but there is no reason we can’t also enjoy the beauty that life offers us. Yet how to connect to it? When we are weighed down, it can seem so far away. Susan’s advice?

Clearly, first and foremost, we need to learn how to LIGHTEN UP!

”Angels fly because they take themselves lightly!” said G.K. Chesterton. If we allow ourselves to be weighed down, we’ll never be able to experience our joy as earnestly as we do our pain.

”In all my books and tapes,” Susan wrote, ”I’ve talked about the Spiritual Journey. Let me emphasize that nowhere is it written that the Spiritual Journey has to be somber and joyless. In fact, the one characteristic that I have found to be universally present in highly Spiritual people is their enchanting sense of humor. They have learned the wisdom of laughter and lightness.”

The best way to start taking ourselves more lightly is to laugh. Susan noted that we don’t even need a reason to laugh. Even at our most miserable, we can still laugh. At the very least, if there is nothing else to laugh at, we can laugh at ourselves for our own seriousness.

Humor creates a shift in perception that allows
us to better center ourselves in a powerful place.

When we laugh, we step away from the heaviness of our lives at that moment and detach from the drama. This gives us a look at the all-important bigger picture. When we can get a good look at the bigger picture, we can see that, along with misery and crisis, there are multitudes of blessings that are happening at the exact same time. Being able to connect with our blessings helps to balance out our most painful or negative feelings. By connecting with the lightness that comes from humor we are connecting to our Higher Selves and are in a much better place. We see that pain is not our whole life. In fact, it is a relatively small part compared to all the good in the world.

So lighten up when the world seems heavy. There is no point in glorifying our pain when so much more satisfaction can be found by connecting with our joy. Look for the humor. Let in the laughter. It leads to the bounty in our lives.

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