I have previously blogged as describing the present moment as "our greatest teacher". We can and must learn from adversity. I still firmly believe that to be the case. But the present moment also offers us the opportunity to appreciate the joy that is inherent in creation.
We are so often bogged down by the worry, fear and a constant internal "mind talk" which weighs us down with despair and sadness. And little wonder–our consciousness is continuously bombarded by bad news–wars, genocides, poverty, natural disasters, crime etc.
It is almost impossible to clear away this barrage of negativity to see the moments of pure clarity and joy which exist in parallel with all the suffering. It may be that joy and suffering are twins which coexist within many of life's experiences.
We are by nature pessimists. Our survival as physical beings throughout history depended on that extra degree of worry, fear and paranoia. But unless we recognize that we need to release this negativity and fear we will never experience serenity and joy.
We may find ourselves unable to enjoy the positive events and experiences in our lives because of some overwhelming guilt that to do so would negate or diminish our own suffering or that of loved ones. Nothing is further from the truth. Small gifts of joy are just that. They allow us tolerate the pain and suffering. To ignore or reject them is to reject the gift of Spirit.
It has been said that when souls reach the "other side" they become aware of all the small gifts of joy that were offered to them when they were incarnated. They might have been the glorious sunset, a babies smile, the door held open for us by a smiling stranger. They just were unable to appreciate them.
So let us vow to seek the special moments in which laughter trumps tears. Let us refrain from pulling back from such enjoyment out of a sense of guilt.
If we don't pay attention, recognize them, seek them out we will never recognize that they are gifts given to us to be experienced and enjoyed.