Grief and Creativity
Dear Dancers and Friends,
Yes. I’m feeling sad. You may be feeling sad as well. I am finding that the rising of so many emotions of grief, sadness and fear is sparking a surge of creativity, and would like to offer some guidance in how to handle the internal world through difficult times.
Happiness and Sadness are One
I’ve heard so many spiritual teachers talk about how happiness is the meaning of life, and give it way more importance than it deserves. Yes, happiness is great!! It’s definitely my preferred emotion, but ultimately it is a weak indicator of reality. It can be a suspicious companion to love. It has a hollowness that we rarely consider.
If we pair happiness with it’s friend, sadness, then we start to have a full story.
Suspicious Companion to Love
Imagine you are in a relationship and your expectation is that your partner will always make you happy. That relationship won’t last long! Love of another person is the thing that takes us beyond moments of misunderstanding. It takes us through mistakes and even intentional hurt. Love is something that we can choose and project outwards. Happiness is different.
Happiness is a result. You can imagine a happy situation and happiness will flow out. You can get an unexpected surprise and happiness will blossom. A great comedian can bring it out of us over the craziest things. Wonderful music and dance easily brings it on.
Happiness flows out as a response to something. It’s not a creator of anything; it is the reward.
A wonderful reward it is. It’s a gift to us when we do something kind. It comes to us when we have succeeded at something. It can be the result of hard work, and also comes easily from hard play. I really like it. I’m sure you do too.
When we understand the true nature of happiness then we become much more valuable in our relationships with our partners, and in our participation in our world. If we put happiness in it’s true place, as a reward, that makes us ever more eager to do nice things, to learn new tasks, to participate fully.
This is also true for our relationship to our communities and world. If our commitment to each other only goes as deep as how happy that other makes us feel, then we become untrustworthy, we project shallowness, and we will constantly be disappointed. Worse than that, we won’t be a force of good when we are needed. Often we are called to do things that make us uncomfortable, and it’s how we measure up to those moments that creates our true character as a human being.
Sadness is also a result. As the companion to happiness, (which is an internal reward for something we’ve done or seen) sadness is the result of something that has happened outside us. If it’s internal, then it’s the worry of what might happen. In today’s world we have many things outside of us that can make us sad. Our response to all of this will create the balance between these states of being.
In other words: when we do something about it, then happiness will come as a gift.
Nature Envelops Us
Enough of that. Our internal world is a marvelously designed gift from nature that helps us navigate our world and come together as decent human beings.
I hope this makes everyone feel a bit better. It makes me feel better to write it. Hard times bring out wells of creativity and I appreciate having people to share this with.
I’m practicing music every day. Can’t wait until we get together to dance!