It's Not Bad, It's Contrast

Nobody likes to be depressed or down.  It's not like we wake up in the morning and say, "I want nothing more than to have a terrible day".  We don't come into this world in the hopes for despair or frustration. I don't know about you, but on my list of things to do, I would never ask for a life where there is challenge after challenge.  I would be crazy if I were to suggest that the bad things in life are for my greater good.

Yet I'm here to tell you, that is exactly what I'm writing about.  Because in truth, our bad times are wonderful launching pads for what we do want.  You see, with everything that is not wanted, the opposite is directly linked to it. And the more "bad" that comes into your life, the more "good" will be inspired by these seemingly difficult situations.

I remember when I was unhappily married, I would daydream about what kind of relationship I wanted.  This then gave me inspiration of what I really wanted in a relationship. My partner did the same thing when he was in a tumultuous relationship. He even went as far as to write down everything opposite of his current relationship so he would feel inspired that the right kind of relationship was possible. When we met, two years later, he shared this list with me, and you may as well as put my name at the top, cause I was everything on that list.

I think one of the most common questions I get from people about my Happiness Coaching is, "How can I be happy all the time?". They go on to explain that life can be hard and no matter how hard they try, they get frustrated with the difficulties of life. When I tell them it's important to be unhappy too, they look at me as if I was an alien disguised as a human.  Why would anyone embrace being unhappy?

When we have contrast, or have difficulties show up, the best thing to do is to focus on what is showing up in it's opposite form.  Say you are tired of your job and you hate showing up every day.  When you say this, you are also saying you want something better.  Perhaps the desire now launched is a job that is more satisfying and rewarding.  One that pays more and you work with people who appreciate and respect you. This desire is then directly relayed to powers that are beyond our comprehension, and somehow the Universe conspires to make that desire a reality.

Another importance of contrast is it increases our joyful factor. I love thinking about the weather in this context. I live in Portland, Oregon where we see a lot of rain.  We can go more than 6-9 months without seeing even a peep of sunshine.  Yet when that sun does come out, you bet the entire city is out celebrating life.  People connect more and everyone speaks of the gratitude they have for it being so beautiful out.

I've know people who live in temperate climates and never get a chance to experience this high that we do when the sun comes out.  The rainy days make us appreciate the moments the sun shines on our faces and this moment is truly a gift in being present and in true joy.

What in your life can you turn around and see the greatness of the contrast? Make a list of all the bad things that have happened in your life, then underneath that, write what you want instead . By doing this exercise you will never see bad times as that bad.  You will start to see that it was placed there so you could dig deeper and express what you really want.

I know some people may say things like, "What about all the bad things that happen in the world, such as September 11th? There is nothing good about that tragedy." What came out of that was millions of people hugging their kids tighter.  People quitting their unfulfilling jobs because they realized they needed to live now since life could be taken away from them at any time. And most importantly, the amount of people who came together to help their community is priceless. September 11th was a gift of unconditional love.  It wasn't just a tragedy.

I hope you can now see those bad days as a blessing in disguise. When you start to see the gifts in the good, the bad and the ugly, you will have more control over your life and will be happier as a result.  Most importantly though, you will begin to live in joy, especially when the sun shines.