One of my Universal Resolutions for 2015 (see my last post) is to lighten up. Not in the sense of shedding some of the body's festive season adipose tissue excesses, but just lightening up, tapping into the inner child if you will. Perhaps easier said than done with the world in an economic crisis, growing extremism and terrorism, global warming, Ebola, plane crashes, AIDS, personal crises, the impending extinction of the rhino and everything else that hacks away at our psyche. What if it was possible to be light and joyous despite all of the planet's suffering, but without disengaging from Lif'e's realities?
As long as we allow ourselves to feel desperate about the plight of others, and our own sorry lives, our own heaviness will pull us deeper into despair. And taking on Life's challenges from a place of desparation simply ain't going to make a significant difference to the issues at hand.
Lightening up requires us to let things be, rather than to demand they be otherwise. It requires us to accept them as a part of our lives, rather than to resign ourselves to the whims of fate. (There IS a difference between acceptance and resignation!) It requires us to welcome everything that comes into our lives, and find a reason to be grateful for it having shown up. It calls on us to explore possibilities for our lives and the planet which reveal themselves in the way in which we engage with each issue.
Lightness requires us to stop complaining, to stop trying to engage selectively with the bits of our life which we like, but avoid and moan about the things which we don't. It calls on us to feel grateful for what we have, but not to indulge ourselves in depression and helplessness about what we don't have or don't want.
We are allowed, when being light, to feel sadness and grief, but lightness does not allow us to sink into a morass of self-pity as the next step after sadness. It calls on us rather to take the energy of our grief and engage that fully with Life as it is, seeing and claiming every gift that Life has to offer.
And, of course, lightening up is not just about dealing with the heavy stuff in our lives. Nit is about becoming playful in every aspect of our lives - with our children, our significant others, our colleagues and those with whom we engage daily, principally becoming playful with ourselves.
So how about coming out to play?