We live in a polarising world. Newsworthy items reported in the Press represent the extremes of life. The ambitious set intense goals. Even we ‘normal’ people tend to have some unrealistic expectations. Our conversations hinge on the interesting. We are easily bored and ‘the routine’ we find unstimulating. We even polarise the emotions—we might see people as either happier or sadder than the norm.
Yet, much of life sits on a strange happy medium, where we are exposed to experience the emotional midway of joyous sadness. And whether we would rather call it a sombre joy is perhaps a moot point. When we are real, sadness is never too far away, nor joy.
We can feel both ways at the same time—happy and sad.
When life is real, and by-the-by, we gain glimpses into our emotional psyche. We can begin to truly see.
Joyous sadness, or sombre joy, or any other term attempting to encompass all the by-the-by emotions we feel, is a serious story of the experience of life.
Accepting What Is
Perhaps the most glorious of blessings is the poise and power of accepting life just exactly as it plays itself out.
It may be a journey in getting to that place. And we may only receive the wisdom to accept what is in certain seasons. Some are blessed by personality, but alas, most of us have to work pretty hard at it.
We can be forgiven for trying too hard to be happy and for avoiding sadness.
We strive for the higher form of positive emotion—happiness, joy, exhilaration, pleasure, inspiration, motivation, etc—and we steer away from the lower form of negative emotion—anxiousness, grief, helplessness, and hopelessness. But we experience both—sometimes at the same time.
Accepting what is, which is often a smattering of negative and positive emotions, that we manage (or don’t manage) almost without thought, is a matter of conscious meditative awareness.
Such awareness that remains generally undistracted by excess thought, which accepts its stimuli come-what-may, and treads life softly, accepting the mystery, just lives life. It learns to take life with a happy disconsolation—the surreally melancholy way.
This is no depressed outlook. It ventures in life by a stark realism. But optimised, it can also feel the vast highs and the tremulous lows.
Emotional acuity is magnificent in life. When we can feel without fear, and think any thoughts whatsoever, trusting ourselves in God, we have accepted life on life’s terms.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.