Joy Series - REMAINING JOYFUL WHEN THINGS DO NOT GO YOUR WAY
They say that life is what happens to us when we are busy making plans and l find that saying to be true. Even after choreographing every step and calculating every twirl and turn, we still find ourselves in the most unforeseen circumstances. The inconsolable disappointment often leaves us paralyzed in the moment, just wallowing in our misfortune not knowing where we miscalculated but well, you did not miscalculate. It happens to us all and you should not allow that to minimize your joy.
Misfortune is an unavoidable facet of the human experience, the only win would be to focus on our reaction when things do not go our way. Life is a concoction of all things sweet and sour, the pain and hurt, as well as the love and everything magical that gives us joy. We do not get to choose to experience one side of it. It comes as the whole package and you ought to take it all. We often describe life as a journey and if we are to look at it, a journey has many intersections, tunnels, uphill climbs, clear highways, terrible weather conditions, all this can be encountered in one journey. It is an adventure.
In these moments when life is somewhat throwing us curveballs and inevitable surprises, we find it difficult to maintain our joy and peace of mind when everything is seemingly falling on us. If you happen to get a lot of those, your life ends up full of frustration and depression because all the commotion reaches you without you planning or being ready for it. We might not be able to protect ourselves from the slings and arrows that come with life but we can control how they get to affect our joy and well- being. Through disappointment, stings of pain, and confusion we can still maintain our unexplainable state of joy.
When you find yourself engulfed in one of those unfortunate events which you never saw coming, the first step is to stop, take a breather before reacting in any way. Take a step back, give yourself time to process healthily, and evaluate the situation before acting. Often we panic and rush into acting which in turn can even increase the level of damage since this was never planned. Try and understand what is happening and the reason why you might have found yourself in that particular situation. Can you fix it? If yes, then try to find the best approach. If it is something beyond your control the next step is to find how to keep the joy going through it and come out on the other side stronger.
If you were working on getting a promotion and instead you got fired, at that moment you might see your whole future in a doomed tenebrous light but when you give yourself time to process your thoughts and emotions you can get to a point of acceptance and understanding that there is hope for a new tomorrow. It might not be the one you anticipated but it could even be a better one and you find joy in that. Vent if you have to, find someone you trust to talk to, it is always a remedy to talk, it clears up your mind and helps you get a better perspective of your situation. If you are not comfortable with talking, keep a journal, always write your thoughts, and meditate to get your mind in a state of rest.
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved. –Helen Keller
The challenges that come with life can serve as blessings in disguise. You ought to shift your attitude when things do not go your way, see it as an opportunity for growth. Once you overcome it, you will come out more polished. Yes, you will have a few battle scars but you will also have lessons to hold on to for your whole life. You now have first-hand knowledge of how to deal with loss, with pain, and all sorts of misfortune.
After learning from a situation and finding ways to get over it, the next step is to shift your perspective to that of gratefulness. Understand that you could have had it worse than you did, look around you, and find the good things which you can still hold on to and be grateful for them. Practice duality with the understanding that you do not need to overlook the negatives for you to be joyful, you can find solutions, work through the situation with your joy still intact.
Life experiences can change you because change is inevitable, but you do not have to allow it to reduce you. In that moment, try to understand yourself, if it means redefining and recalculating, do it. The more tough the situation is, the more gloriously the triumph will be. Stop holding on to a problem if things don’t go your way move on, don’t keep complaining about it. Shift your focus and try and move to the next thing, embrace the unknown, be open to taking risks. Be flexible, it often cushions the pain of disappointment. Lastly, life is a journey, love the journey with all its tweaks because that’s what makes it worth living, embrace it in its fullness and you will live a life full of joy.