How do I find heaven in the middle of hell? This is a question older than time.
Every morning people greet a new day with endless potential. In one day, people could start a new diet, fast, die, make a baby, take a life, go shopping, go camping, take a walk, or even fly to the Antarctic. Some of the options are older than time, while some are far newer. Invention has bred endless options for how to carry oneself across time. Still, innovation has not crafted a response to the above question.
Clearly, there is a disparity here. Many entities have strove for an answer in the past. Many say, “It’s all about X, or you just have to do Y.” Others say, “I gave up trying a while ago. You can try, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Others say nothing. Silence is their solution. Most of these groups claim to have the truth as their ally.
The truth is, I don’t know the truth. If I did, I would be Tony Robbins times a million. Brain injuries would be child’s play. I would be giving private sermons to Pope Francis, Deepak Chopra, and the Dalai Lama. I would be leading UN meetings, and playing water polo with Elon Musk. Unfortunately for Musk and His Holiness, these are not currently the case. But what I can do is pursue it.
Let’s say one day I wake up with a concussion headache (most of you know the kind). Your head feels hollow and heavy at the same time, usually in the particular areas where the injury occurred. These are fun days. I could start my day by telling myself that it’s going to be “brutal.” I could complain to the people around me about it. I could even treat myself to a muffin because it would make me feel better about the symptoms. Although these options may alleviate discomfort for seconds, they will not alleviate the negative feelings for long, and will most certainly not answer the question up top.
What I can do is strive forward. I can feel that initial throb upon waking, accept that it is real, and then do everything in my power to minimize its effect on my well-being. This could look like a nap, trading coffee in for green tea, eating no muffins, or going for a walk. But these are merely physical solutions. The cognitive solutions are multitudinous. First off, skip complaining, it doesn’t do anything. Second, tell yourself that tomorrow will be better, tell yourself that even if your current actions fail to ameliorate the pain, your next plan will not. Many battles can be lost, and the war still won.
I only write this post, because part of the answer to this question is the attempt to answer it. Who knows, maybe one day we will discover happiness. In fact, its probably sitting right now somewhere on a tropical beach on an undiscovered island in the South Pacific sipping long island iced teas. Or maybe happiness is not a person, place, or thing. Maybe happiness is an action, a posturing against the brutalities of life.
Again, I do not know the answer. But whether it is a headache, vertigo, double vision, depression, an inability to sleep, nausea, or anxiety, the situation will only get worse if you do nothing. And it can only get better if you take a leap of faith and blindly step forward with your best intentions and efforts. With effort, heaven is not promised. Without efforts, hell is a guarantee.
Hope you enjoyed this super intense one!