(c) 2009 Joan M. Newcomb
I was inspired for this article by a woman's story, who was married to an alcoholic. After years of being on a roller coaster ride with him, she realized that it was okay for her to be happy, even if he was not. Did her happiness take away from his misery? Certainly not. Would her being miserable help him in his disease? Hardly.
As an empath, I often feel other's emotions, but I won't often know where they're coming from. Sometimes it's someone close to me, sometimes it's someone who lives 3,000 miles away or someone I've not spoken to in years. That's different than feeling that, just because everyone around me is unhappy, I have to be unhappy, too.
That's like jumping down a well to save someone drowning, rather than throwing them a rope! Two people stuck in a well is not a solution to such a problem!
One theory is that we learn to match other people's unhappiness when we're children. Children are naturally bright and joyful. That can be very uncomfortable to someone who's depressed or miserable. It's like shining a bright light into a darkened room - it hurts the eyes of people who've been sitting there not opening their own window-shades.
They learn to tone themselves down or get toned down by others. Another analogy I've used it two crabs in a bucket. If you put one crab in a bucket, it will scuttle out. If you put two, they'll stay trapped, pulling each-other down.
It's our natural state to be happy. When we're most aligned with our Inner Being/Expanded Self, we're ecstatic and in love with life.
You can't help others by matching their level of pain and suffering. You can, however, send a ripple effect out into the world by radiating your own light.
In certain circumstances, you have to detach from others' behaviors and actions, even though you love them. If they're alcoholic or otherwise ill or addicted, the only way to step back from their insanity and focus on your own life. They have to have the consequences of their own actions, and it often has to get worse before they get better. If you're in there making them seem okay or legitimate, or validating their distorted version of reality as Truth, it prolongs their getting well, and makes *you* insane in the process!
Sometimes the miserable character in your storyline is your child. How do you detach from them? Wouldn't it be cruel to be happy when your child is having a horrible time? The first thing to realize is that your child, whatever age, is actually an Infinite Being (as are You). They auditioned for the part, actually wrote the script and chose all the details of the plot. The more capable a Being is, the more challenging a story they will write. Because, from the Infinite Actor's point of view, it's a much more enjoyable to have a really juicy, Oscar-winning, role!
If you sympathize with them, you're invalidating their capability. If they're able to manifest the problem, they're resourceful enough to manifest the solution. Standing in your own happiness, you can be strong for them and hold the space for them to resolve their problems.
When you step into the realm of awareness that you are Consciousness, creating all of this down to the smallest detail, then your outer circumstances transform. At first it will seem like *everyone* is miserable, and mad at you for being joyful. But as you stand in your joyfulness, the external climate changes. Miserable people may write themselves out of your storyline in very creative ways. Or you'll wake up one morning and they'll all have changed personalities.
It's like the second season of "Bewitched" when they cast a different actor to play Darren. Nobody said a thing, and everyone just continued with the sitcom as if nothing had happened.
When your vibration raises, you world will reflect it.
One way to get started with this is to notice "whose problem is it"? If it's someone else's problem, let them worry about it!
If it's *your* problem, you can be happy even when *your* circumstances are miserable! Realize that your Inner Being/Expanded Self is really chortling with glee as you plan the outfit you'll be wearing to the Cosmic Oscars! When you shift your perspective, even the most challenging problems become manageable.
There are many examples of how to do this. Byron Katie's The Work can drill holes in your clouded thinking to let the sunlight of your Inner Wisdom shine through. Kris Carr is an inspiration of living with incurable cancer! Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs and is a motivational speaker! The list goes on and on.
So your navigational suggestion for this week is to steer yourself in the direction of happiness and joy. One step at a time, one moment at a time, one day at a time, choose to go towards light rather than shadow. Choose the better feeling thought.
Just as I was completing this article, this video from Byron Katie came in. This isn't exactly to the point, but it's a start:
Finding Kindness & Questioning Stress
Try this for a week and see what happens!