Sadness and joy are two of the Access Consciousness Bars points. They are generally run at the same time, and many people assume that sadness and joy are the opposite of one another. This is not the case. Let’s take a look at what sadness and joy actually are.
Have you ever watched an infant find his fingers or toes? Or smile at his mom, or be fascinated by a mobile? What energy is the child expressing? Can you sense it bubbling up? How expansive it is? That’s the energy of joy. Joy is actually who we are! Then why, might you ask, is there so little of it in the world? Great question! Most of us had our joy bred out of us. We were told things like: Life is not a bowl or cherries you know! Or some variation of: Being a Pollyanna is stupid, you will just get taken advantage of! In addition, everyone has experienced some kind of disappointment, and most of us assumed that that meant we needed to cut off our joy. What if that didn’t have to be the case? The idea the joy needs to be tied to events prevents us from accessing the joy that we are. There’s a very useful Access Consciousness tool that states: Your point of view creates your reality. If you believe that you can only be joyful when something you’ve judged as “good” happens, than you can’t receive the joy that you are unless you’re tying it to a “happy” occurrence. In this way, we turn what is a part of us into a fleeting experience that seems to be the result of cause and effect. What if you were willing to be the joy you are all of the time? What could that be like?
People often respond to this question with a concern that it would be “inappropriate”. “How can I be joyful when my friend’s just lost their job, or I find out that a cousin has cancer? Gary Douglas tells a story about a time when a friend had been fired. She called him up all upset and he said: Now is the time to celebrate! Let’s go have Champaign and pie. Now a whole new world of possibilities is open to you! And celebrate they did! He saw the situation from a different point of view and that changed everything.
Here’s a question: Does denying our joy add to any situation? If you’re glum around a person who is ill, is that actually a contribution? Joy does not mean mania, it is a quality that’s creates ease and expansion. If a person is has a disease, we can bemoan the situation with them or we can celebrate the moment, the life they have created, or the beauty of the storm that’s raging outside.
Tying Joy to events is how we mistakenly tie it to sadness, but sadness is a very different kind of thing. Sadness is actually a creation. Sadness requires a judgment while joy just is. Consider this situation: a friends child falls off a horse and breaks their leg, which prevents them from participating in a class trip. We might consider that a “sad” situation, but that’s a complete judgment based on the idea that the class trip was the best that could “happen’ for this child. What if by staying home, he had a “chance” meeting with someone who became a life long friend and mentor? Was the breaking of the leg a “sad” event or not?
Sadness is often tied to loss; loss of a family member, loss of a relationship, loss of a dream, loss of health. But what is loss? Loss is nothing more than change. Most of us don’t like change, but what if you could change your point of view about change? Another great Access consciousness tool is: Interesting point of view I have this point of view. Using this every time you have a fixed point of view about something is a great way to begin to distance yourself from your points of view and create more ease in your life. For example, if you are in the midst of a messy divorce, instead of gong to: This is all so upsetting and sad, how could my dream marriage have ended up this way? You can say: Wow! Interesting point of view I have this point of view about my divorce. I wonder what else is possible? I wonder what else can show up for me?
We can also “feel sad” simply because we are picking it up from someone else. Suppose you are walking down a street and you’re feeling pretty happy. All of a sudden you walk past someone who is sad, and you pick up that sadness. At this point most people go to: “Gee, I feel so sad, I wonder why I’m sad?”, then they find something to attach it to like: “Oh I guess I’m sad because my uncle is in the hospital.” They’ve just made the sadness theirs!
The bottom line is: joy is who we are and sadness is a choice. The crazy thing is that most of us refuse the joy that we are and often choose sadness. There’s a saying in Access consciousness – Cute, not bright! Would you be willing to acknowledge the joy that you are no matter what else is going on? Would you be willing to acknowledge that when you “feel” sad, it’s something you can change? How might your life change with these simple shifts?