As you may know, I am ALL ABOUT the HAPPY—even when it doesn’t seem to be there…even when ALL we may feel is Sadness, Fear, Pain, Anger, or just Flat out CRAPPY!!!
And this is not to say that we shouldn’t feel Sadness, Fear, Pain, or Anger—they are Amazing Emotions to be expressed and embraced as part of the Human Experience!!! I merely wish to show that HAPPINESS can be present AT THE SAME time as these feelings, found at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, and that our external circumstances don’t dictate our joy. By looking inside ourselves, we can FIND THE HAPPY IN THE CRAPPY!!!
I offer up some tools when speaking of this, that can up-level our hearts and help us FIND THE HAPPY IN CRAPPY: (1) Honesty, (2) Gratitude, (3) Self-Love, (4) Acceptance, and (5) Patience.
The very first time I realized these tools were so helpful in allowing me to see through the shit and find my joy, was when I lost many physical and mental faculties, and eventually the ability to walk. Embracing these tools sequentially—the process of “Becoming Chronically Fabulous”, as I’ve come to call it—has enabled me to FIND THE HAPPY IN THE CRAPPY in all of my shitty situations, especially my flare-ups.
This flare-up, which started mid-October, (right after seeing my doctor about a burning, red rash that randomly was appearing on my face) has thrown me—physically, energetically, and emotionally.
I have gone through my process: (1) have gotten completely HONEST with myself and laid out the shit—acknowledged the symptoms I have been having and how I have felt about them, (2) have found my pieces of GRATITUDE (my things to celebrate) which have been keeping me grounded and centered as I’ve begun digging through the shit, (3) have granted me the SELF-LOVE and permission to feel all the feels when processing the shit, (4) have ACCEPTED all of the shit and have allowed myself to stay there as long as necessary to process…I’ve been leaning into all of what I’ve been feeling about my flare and about myself…I’ve been talking with my therapist every two weeks about the things that have been bothering me, the stuff I need to let go of, and the “aha” moments I’ve discovered, and (5) have been trying to be as PATIENT as possible and have been choosing to see the GOOD and the HAPPY as it pops out randomly in this shitty experience.
Overall, I’ve been quite calm, positive, and able to recognize the HAPPY bits over the past month or so. But something has been nagging at me, and I haven’t been able to put my finger on it. I haven’t been able to quite shake it.
Have I not been completely honest with myself???…
Am I not allowing myself the time, space, and grace to process???
Over the course of the past two weeks, the Universe has decided to speak—answering these questions through various signs. My horoscopes, Oracle cards being pulled for the collective in FB groups to which I belong, headlines for emails, podcast episodes that I’ve been listening to, random articles being shared in my social feed, and healing sessions in which I’ve been taking part—ALL have been telling me to let go, to not be afraid, to move forward with courage, etc…I have obviously been in need of a perspective shift, but I have not been able to figure it out for the life of me.
And then a personal encounter with a stranger…
I met a woman in the bathroom, as she was coming from the handicapped stall, for which I was waiting. She glanced at me in my wheelchair and then apologized for using the stall, saying “I only use this when my Rheumatoid Arthritis acts up”…she then proceeded to speak of how her aches and pains were intensified by the cold, wet weather and she wondered if the same went for me—as if she knew what I was going through.
We struck up a conversation about our various health conditions. I couldn’t believe the similar experiences we shared, not only physically, but also emotionally and energetically—we were so much aligned, it was as if I were having a conversation with myself.
A few things differed, however. She was a great deal older than I was and she had pretty much EVERY Rheumatological disorder in the book—many of which are quite a possibility for me, given the symptoms I have been experiencing lately. I was frankly blown away by how highly she was functioning, given all of her ailments. I mean she apologized to me for using the handicapped stall, for God’s sake!!! And I was in complete awe of her JOY and HAPPINESS despite her crappy situation.
And then it all became clear—all the signs seemed to connect and converge on this very moment. That thing of which I was afraid and needed to let go, in order to move forward, was staring me right in the face.
It was all about being honest with myself and needing to acknowledge a fear, only this fear was unknown to me until now.
I was not afraid of the potential “what if’s” of my symptoms—there’s a fifty-fifty chance of EVERYTHING either happening or not happening, and I will deal with whichever circumstance as it arises. I was, however, doubting how I would deal with said circumstances—and that scared the shit out of me.
I was afraid of my self-doubt and that was the fear of which I needed to let go. I knew I had gotten through way more difficult situations than what I could be facing and it was killing me that I was doubting my ability and my inner strength.
However, meeting that woman in the bathroom, the one with ALL of the shitty rheumatological circumstances, assuaged my fear of self-doubt. Because we were soooo much alike—in our determination, playfulness, hopefulness, zest for life, and our ability to find JOY when bringing HAPPINESS to others—it reignited the flame in my heart that I could thrive and be HAPPY, regardless of my external situations…And for that I was forever grateful!!!
So not only has my fear of self-doubt been alleviated—which has thankfully stopped that nagging sensation that’s been creeping up to thwart my inner calm, peace, and HAPPINESS—but I’ve also gained some more insight into my process of FINDING THE HAPPY IN THE CRAPPY…
“Becoming Chronically Fabulous” and embracing the tools of HONESTY, GRATITUDE, SELF-LOVE, ACCEPTANCE, and PATIENCE—in order to look within to create our HAPPY—is not always a sequential process, as I had previously thought.
This flare-up has taught me that my method can be cyclical and non-linear.
Depending upon how long our various shitty circumstances plague us, we may need to repeat using the tools of finding inner calm, peace, and joy numerous times. For instance, I had gone through the process of each tool to the best of my conscious ability, only to find that there was an unknown fear that I later needed to honestly acknowledge—signaling the need for the process of “Becoming Chronically Fabulous” to repeat itself.
Also, the tools can be used in a non-linear fashion. In this recent scenario, the order of the tools used happened to be: (1) Patience, (2) Self-Love, (3) Acceptance, (4) Honesty, and (5) Gratitude.
The Universe had been speaking to me for a while and I needed to be PATIENT that all would be revealed. When the dots had connected and I had met the stranger in the bathroom, I permitted myself all the feels (SELF-LOVE) and processed all the signs (ACCEPTANCE). That eventually led to the realization of my fear of self-doubt and the importance of acknowledging it (HONESTY). After all, was said and done, the encounter with the woman in the bathroom left me feeling nothing but GRATITUDE!!!
So, as the Universe has spoken to me over the last few weeks, I have had great perspective shifts in my physical being as well as in my thoughts regarding FINDING THE HAPPY IN THE CRAPPY.
It isn’t always that we are in denial or purposely avoiding our fears—sometimes we don’t know they exist and they just need some time (or some help from the Universe) to come into the light.
FINDING THE HAPPY IN THE CRAPPY is an evolving process and as new shitty situations present themselves, they seem to shed new light. The tools of HONESTY, GRATITUDE, SELF-LOVE, ACCEPTANCE, and PATIENCE are quite effective when going inside ourselves to search for calm, peace, and joy—leading to fabulous results, regardless of external forces. In effect, calling the process by which we embrace said tools “Becoming Chronically Fabulous” seems to be a good fit…
To sum things up, as the Universe Speaks, monumental changes can happen in our physical and mental states…the question is—Are we listening???