PAIN equals JOY equals LIFE equals FUN equals LAUGHTER

There is a formula to the topic of this post.

All parts of life experiences equal one another in magnitude of the ability to feel one emotion and its direct opposite.

Sometimes you may feel all emotions at once; moving from laughing to crying to anger to laughing to joy to sadness and so on.

If you try to squelch feelings of sadness or anger, you equally minimize your joy and happiness. We don’t get to select the emotions we want to feel and forget the rest of em’. Nope it doesn’t work that way. As a living being, you get to experience all of it by either allowing it, looking at it directly in the mirror or denying a feeling and having it come out inappropriately or in a way that doesn’t speak the truth of  who you are or what you feel.

Hey, at least you have a choice.

And pain, no one likes to feel pain either as a simple inconvenience or harshly as a total loss and heartbreak. In my last post about suffering, it was mentioned that it is a choice. We always have a choice about how we deal with the pain. Personalize it; suffer and make it “our” story, so we can victimize ourselves and not have to move on in our lives. Or feel the pain, let it speak to you and teach you; grow with it; see it and know that we are healing as we are feeling. And that we can still continue to participate in life, there is still the opportunity as long as we are living and breathing to experience the joy.

I remember a couple of years ago, as I was sitting in the emergency room with my adult child thinking about how long it was taking (my kid was fine, by the way) and how I had so much to do at home. And then I looked around the room and thought of a relative who had passed. I thought, “Wow, this person doesn’t get to be inconvenienced anymore or feel anything anymore, they don’t get to experience anything!”  I am lucky, because I am alive and I am here with my kid, who I love and am thankful is doing just fine. I completely and totally realized how great it was to be sitting in a hospital room waiting to go home. Lucky me, I got to go home!! When I’m six feet under, I won’t be going anywhere. Talk about a real reality check and heavy doses of joy and happiness to accompany my appreciation for life. Many moments before and since then have followed…and thankfully there did not need to be a tragedy attached to feel gratitude. It was the simple fact that I get to “feel”, period.

The fact is many times life doesn’t look like its going in the direction we want it to either for a few minutes or for years.  This can create a lot of pain, a feeling of battling with life. A resistance to what is your reality. At times like this, I ask myself where is the “joy” can I find it and the answer is “yes”. It is always there in equal parts to the pain. The laughter is there in equal parts to the tears. One day I will no longer be here to allow those moments to come and go, like the ebb of the tide and so, to feel it all on the shore as it washes over me is what I prefer; its a gift.

Next time you have to go to the doctor to get an immunization, find some joy in it or when you have your car break down, think of how lucky you are to be here on this planet experiencing the entire realm of emotions. Even a break up as heart-wrenching as it is, there is a sense of excitement and joy–the freedom to explore and watch as the untold future unfolds in that moment of pain!  Your present need not wait for the hoped for joy of the future, you can experience it now. How exciting can that be!?

Look around and see every other human being, we all have to endure less than pleasant experiences that create pain large and small. It is in how we decide to go through it! Rather than around it, under it or bury it…allow it and find the joy. Or laugh, find the funny absurdity in your situation. It’s ALL there, I promise. 

If you have any stories to share that are examples of finding the joy in pain, please either post a comment or email it to me at and I will post on this blog.