The past months have been pretty rough. At the end of 2021, when I did my usual meditations and drumming to attempt to connect deeper and get a sense of what to prepare for in 2022…
The word that came up strongly was “Challenge“. It would be a challenging 2022.
Back then, I thought, “Okay!… Challenge. Let’s do it”. Little did I realise how challenging it would be in multiple aspects of my life and in different depths of my soul.
The past months have included moments when I felt that the life I knew and had been working towards was crumbling down fast. I felt the previously clear sense of who I am strip away in chunks and layers.
These months also showed me the cracks in the stability of my family unit that have always been there, which I somehow never saw all these years.
What seemed to be was no longer. The reality I knew seemed to be showing the hidden layers. Had I been living in an illusion? Maybe.
In various aspects of my life, those targets which I were excited about and earnestly pushed forward in, inadvertently met with multiple obstacles that sometimes forced the momentum to a halt or to change in unexpected directions.
I learnt, and am still learning, to take a step back, to go with the flow and to take it step by step. I am still learning how to welcome changes and challenges. I started to let go of notions of how I judged myself and others. I started to view people and relationships differently. I start to be more compassionate towards others and myself.
Amidst the mess and attempts to make sense of my inner world and outer world, I realised I had lost my smile. I became glum, stressed and robot-like.
I looked at myself in a video Zoom call one day, while preparing for a session, and tried to smile. It felt odd, awkward and my jaws were tired after a while.
I then realised something that changed this persistent gloom. Why was I making life more difficult for myself by emotionally and mentally living in a grey cloud? Am I only happy when everything is done and solved? What about the process? And guess what…
I can smile.
I can choose to smile.
I can be going through a difficult time, and I can still smile.
This realisation changed my perspective totally.
For the rest of the afternoon, I smiled, listened to music and sang out of tune as I went through the usual motions of the day.
My head was still throbbing, my body still felt tired and I still felt a little lost in this state of multiple transitions from one stage of life to another.
Yet, I was happy. I am happy.
I write this post to share this message. That no matter how tough things get, you can choose to smile.