“If we are not aware that we are happy, we are not really happy. When we have a toothache, we know that not having a toothache is a wonderful thing. But when we do not have a toothache, we are still not happy. A non-toothache is very pleasant.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
It seems crazy to be thankful for an illness or some other physical anomaly.
We have been conditioned to get better and get better now so that we no longer need to feel the unpleasant sensations associated with whatever it is thats going on. Take this and you’ll feel better because nobody should ever suffer.
And yet, it occurs to me that the decision whether to suffer or not in any given moment is ours alone. Some of the sickest people in hospital wards are also the most outwardly happy. How is that possible?
It is because they have had ample opportunity to see their condition as a stop along the path. Also, that complaining about any given situation simply does nothing. It is by approaching an illness or other discomfort with awareness that the beauty therein begins to make itself apparent.
As suggested by the quote above, I believe fully that it is impossible to appreciate the magnificence of a healthy body without occasionally feeling that health deteriorate. Armed with this comparison, and by keeping it in the forefront of our minds in each NOW moment, it becomes possible to take each new life event in stride. And perhaps with a smile.
For the good.
For the “bad”.
For the neutral.