1) Embrace the idea that joy and pain exist side-by-side. Even if our lives are going well, there may be a loved one who is sick, or we may have pain from a difficult relationship, or regret from our past. First, our pain needs our love. Then...alongside that...try this... Imagine that you have a mountain of your pain in one hand - and your joy is in the other hand. Focus on the joy, even if it is the smallest thing. Then build your joy - grow it and nourish it - so much, that eventually your joy towers over your pain.
2) We have to be warriors for love. I learned something beautiful about love from the martial art Aikido. Traditional Aikido teaches that when attacked, you do not attack back. Instead you redirect the force from your opponent to neutralize the charge and to restore their dignity. The intention is to create peace, to protect everyone from injury, including the attacker.
3) Tenacity, determination, courage, feistiness. Never give up. It's the synergy of these two qualities - love and guts - that creates total aliveness.
© 2011 Allison Massari
"Happiness" - Hand-colored monotype by Allison Massari. To see more of her artwork click here.
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