(I love games – in fact, Dan and I challenge each other to a game of Backgammon each night – he’s been on a winning streak lately, but I have a feeling the tables are about to turn in my favor…) Anyway – let’s pretend that you won a game, and the prize was a house of your choice. You could either move into a house filled with joy or a house filled with sorrow.
Which would you choose?
I would guess that the majority of us would immediately (without a moment’s hesitation) choose the house filled with joy! We would imagine that our new home was peaceful and happy and loving and supportive and exciting and well, joyful. We would probably picture ourselves in this joyful home dancing around, laughing constantly, and just feeling light and free.
We would most likely feel grateful that we had a choice about which house to choose. No one wants to live in a house of sorrow. And boy, were we lucky that we didn’t have to!
Now let’s pretend that your essence – your mind/body/soul – your YOUness was your home. Look around for a moment. Are you living in a joyful home or a home filled with sorrow? When you are in your home, are you focusing on gratitude and love or are you focusing on anger and pain?
What if I told you that you had a choice in which home to choose to live in – just like the game above? What if I told you that you could always choose to make joy your home? What if I told you that living in sorrow and pain and anger was a choice that you were making – it was a home that you probably grew up in, got comfortable in, had a family in, and settled into. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t move into a house filled with joy. That doesn’t mean that you can’t start again right now in this moment.
I know what it’s like to live in a house of sorrow. I know that it’s not a whole lot of fun. Like you, I have had some pretty traumatic life experiences that weighed me down and clouded over my inner joy. I have suffered greatly – just like you have. And moving into a house of joy doesn’t diminish my suffering. It doesn’t mean that I’m completely forgetting about it. I can still visit these places within my soul – the anger and the pain and the hurt and the sorrow. But I don’t have to settle in and stay there.
Think about when you go on a vacation. You’re only there for a little while, but you always know that you are going to go back home after a week or so. You never planned on moving there when your vacation was over. Maybe a better metaphor would be to think about when you go to a therapist and delve into your pain. You would never imagine moving into their office, right? You always knew that you would go home when the session was over. And while you’re there, you dive in and go to those places within that need to heal, but you always leave when the hour is up and come back home.
But if you’re coming home to a house of sorrow, that means that you’ve decided somewhere along the way to bring your pain home with you. To carry it with you wherever you go. To identify with it.
And this is understandable. I have done this most of my life, so I understand what it can feel like to identify with these emotions.
But I also know what it’s like to identify with joy and peace. And this is the house that I choose to live in. This is the house that fills me up and gives me love, sweet love.
And that doesn’t mean that I don’t honor my pain and sorrow. It just means that I don’t live there. They are places that I visit – when I need to deal with emotions or situations or experiences that require something other than joy. But I no longer am willing to get stuck in these emotions or identify with them or keep them with me all of the time.
We all deserve to make joy our home. The place that nurtures us. Fills us up. And loves us.
We truly all deserve that.
I hope you’ll move into your joy home, too. I’m in mine now, and it’s such a beautiful home to live in.
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