Saturday, August 14, 2010

Joy: Salt in the Wound or Hope for Tomorrow?

Before writing this, I wanted to look up the definition for the term "mindfulness." It is language I am using more often and the basis for this blog entry. However, it took me seconds (via google and wikipedia) to learn the term has many meanings and I could not find a definition for how I use it personally. Hmmm. Did I make it up and all this time I have been misusing this term?

Either way, mindfulness as I defined it somewhere, somehow, along the way is being aware of oneself (internal and external awareness) while also being aware of how one's actions, speech and thoughts might effect others. For me, this primarily means the people I care about because I feel far to overwhelmed when I consider being mindful of everyone on planet earth!

So, with this approach in mind, I find myself with a question for my blogging friends.

There are so many people in my life who are suffering. Many of them are friends I don't know IRL (in real life) but their struggles permeate my thoughts often despite the lack of physical presence. In addition, people in my RL are struggling in a variety of ways. Primarily I am referring to physical struggle, serious illness etc, but at times this can mean emotional struggling also.

More and more, I find myself feeling a compulsion to hide or downplay the sweet parts of my life. It is not that I don't have struggles, I do, but they pale in comparison to the people I know living day to day for another breath.

This compulsion comes from a place of "mindfulness" as I define it. It seems hurtful to me to sing the praises of my life when I know others are suffering so. I feel as though I should keep any of my good fortune to myself out of respect to those who are sad, scared and hurting.

I suppose I have some silly notion that when everyone is "all better" and the suffering is gone, I will again shout from the rooftops my love of this life. But, of course, the suffering will never end. One person will recover and another will suffer. This is life. One day the suffering will be mine again.

So, am I ridiculous? Can you relate? Am I on to something or out of my mind?

When you are suffering, do you like to hear of the joy in other's lives or is it like adding insult to injury?

Should I follow this instinct I have and practice my made up version of mindfulness or should I share my happiness even with those who currently suffer?



Josh said...

We have no control over what cards we are dealt in the game of life. People shouldn't feel ashamed of their successes in life. Isn't that what we all should want for one another? Happiness and fulfillment on any and all levels?

If you have something positive happen, don't hide it...share it. I, for one, would be so pleased to read something joyful from a kindred spirit I most likely will never meet.

The key is to no brag about it. There is a conscientious way to share positive things in your life without alienating those who are struggling. It's a tough line to walk, but I think you'd handle it with grace.

Peaceful Things.

**Ricki** said...

I feel the same as Josh... and since I started blogging, I have realized that others do seem genuinely happy for me when things go right... We all suffer at times of our life, and I think that when we share the good stuff (especially for me being that I recently received my new liver) it gives others hope for what can be after - after all, we've done our fair share of fighting in the trenches. tehehe.

Bitter_Angel said...

I do get what you mean, and I do find myself doing the same sometimes too.

However, personally I like to hear how well others are doing. To know that somebody has gone through tough times too and is now out having great fun, is a huge booster to me.

Plus, even when we sturggle, we often have good times too, though they often get hidden. Perhaps by talking about your good points, the person struggling will be better able to highlight the good points going on with them too.

environmental fiend said...

I think you just gotta be. I mean, people can perceive you depending on how their mood happens to be from one minute to the next. It's impossible to predict, and definitely not worth filtering yourself for.

Mindfulness yes, but I think you are being too extreme.

cik kumbang said...

hi..just surfing and found your blog...I agree with Josh that "If you have something positive happen, don't hide it...share it."...

mommysnewlungs said...

I understand exactly what you mean. As a woman with CF, I was lucky to be blessed with my 6 year old twins. However, I sometimes feel a certain vibe from others thinking why was I so lucky. But you know, it wasn't all luck. It was a lot of hard work to get through the pregnancy, and I almost lost my life because of it. My babies almost lost theirs too. We all make decisions in life that sometimes lead to joy and other times sadness. I wish nothing but happiness for other people, and if other can't find happiness for us then that is ok too. Everyone deals with life and its ups and downs in different ways.