Releasing Difficulties with Joy and Ease

by Gwen Randall-Young -

Sometimes life seems like a struggle. 

We may have big, ongoing issues to deal with or it may just be one of those days when everything seems to go wrong.

The natural tendency is to brace ourselves, react or go into contraction. It is almost as though we are trying to resist or oppose whatever is happening.

When we respond this way, our muscles get tight, our breathing becomes shallower, stress chemicals are released in the body, our blood pressure may go up and we may even experience problems with digestion and sleep.

We tell ourselves life should not be like this; these things should not be happening to us. We just want our lives to go smoothly. Of course, this is our ego talking from its own limited perspective.

We are involved in a much larger life script than ego could ever imagine. 

There are many players in the script; it is most certainly not all about us. If we were acting in a play, even if the person we were playing was going through intense difficulties, we would not take it personally; we would simply play out the part.

We might even be quite relaxed about it, knowing that the character is struggling, but that we do not have to join in that struggle.

In life, it is ego that reacts to all that transpires. If we are connected with our souls, we can observe what is being played out and how ego is reacting.

Like a reassuring parent, we can tell ourselves that this is not the end of the world and we will get through it.

My massage therapist talks about releasing difficulties with joy and with ease. At first, it seems a little strange to think of joy co-existing with something that is painful or difficult.

However, it is ego that holds on and perceives things as terrible, unfair or aggravating. There can certainly be joy and ease in letting all of this negativity go.

In fact, joy and ease cannot truly co-exist with struggle and pain, so if we move into a place where we allow ourselves to feel those positive qualities, the struggle does seem to evaporate. 

I imagine a young child complaining that a sibling is causing distress. The mother responds by suggesting the child go to a different room and do something fun. If the child does this, his life experience in that moment immediately changes.

Of course, in adult life, it is not always quite that simple, although it often is. Issues we have with other people can often simply be let go.

With everyday things like a kid’s homework, car breakdowns and tight finances, we need simply remind ourselves that they are part of the territory, the norm.

Life is not always a breeze and at those times we just hunker down and do what needs to be done in the best spirit we can muster.

Then there are the real challenges: serious illness or the death of a loved one. There is no question that these will hit us harder and emotions will run high.

We will go through all the stages associated with these traumas: anger, denial, sorrow, grief, resentment and pain. We cannot release these emotions so easily, nor should we. 

Experiencing them is part of the healing and coming to terms with what is.

Ultimately, though, we can come to a place where we see it all as part of this experience that is life. There are beginnings and endings, joys and sorrows, holding on and letting go.

Even in these more serious life circumstances, we can eventually release all our burdens with joy and ease.

We do this by holding others and ourselves in a place of love, with compassion for all that comprises our human experience. It is, after all and in spite of it all, a sacred journey.

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