How To Experience Life At A Deeper Level (Or Why It's Desirable To Struggle And Be Sad)


Three weeks ago I started jogging again. The primary cause for my new found motivation was that two unrelated people asked me if I was pregnant. Under different circumstances this question might have been sweet, but if you’re definitely not pregnant like me, it hurts. The first thing I did after my neighbour asked me if Luke was expecting another brother or sister any time soon, was of course going home and looking at myself in the mirror even more critically than I usually do. In my head I was thinking “How dare you to ask me that?” The same night I started running again. 


Almost every night I’ve run for about 4 km. And it was surprisingly easy. I mean it was hard, but manageable. Then, about a week ago, I had the most beautiful run of my life. I went out at around 10 pm and it was still 30 degrees Celsius outside. There was no difference between my body temperature and the air and when I started running I noticed that it felt incredibly easy. It didn’t feel like a workout at all. I had so much energy left over that my body was relieved to get it out of there. Usually it’s the other way around. I have to gather my energy to even start. 


I ran and ran and it felt like I had never done anything else. I had to think of Forrest Gump and how he ran and never stopped for a whole year or so. Suddenly I knew exactly how he must have felt. I swear to God I could have run at least 20 km that night. I was flying over the pavement. Unfortunately I had to stop after 7km, because I had to go the bathroom. 


The next day I was so pumped to feel this energy again. I put on my running shoes, was super excited and then - gone. The spirit of Forrest Gump had left me and I was back to persuading my mind to run to the next corner without giving up. Since then every night has been the same. No outburst of extra energy, no desire to run past my set goal of 4 km. I have no idea what happened that night. Maybe it had something to do with the moon cycle or maybe another incarnated self of mine was running a marathon in a parallel universe. Who knows!


Now I'm tempted to give up running again, because I think, what’s the point? After that magical night last week, every time I go running I will be disappointed. I will always have this comparison in my mind of how easy it can be. It's frustrating.


But then I thought, maybe everything works like that.


You have to live the ordinary to be able to recognize the extraordinary.


If running were easy for me, this magical moment would have never been born. It became magic because it was a contrast to my daily struggle.


If we could embrace the ordinary and less exciting days as the gift that they are, foreplay for the orgasms of life, we would be less tempted to give up. We would know that everything is a preparation for beautiful moments in time. But instead we want excitement, courage, bliss and magic every day.  It’s like expecting to have an orgasm every couple of hours; it makes no sense because it would degrade the orgasm to something as normal as having a cup of coffee. Hence, it wouldn’t feel as special anymore. It would join the routine tasks of the day that we're all so tired of.


What I’m trying to say is:


There lays a beauty in the play of opposites. 


Struggle makes the moment of success so sweet.

Rejection lifts true love on stage.

Courage is born out of fear. 

Sadness lays the ground for happiness.


Our problem is that we avoid feeling what we think is the “negative” spectrum of life. We try to escape from feeling sad, unsuccessful, bored and alone. 


Am I crazy to suggest perhaps enjoying this palette of emotions? Or maybe it’s enough if we could try to accept these aspects of life like f.i. feeling sad as the opposite of what we really want but knowing that we need sadness in order to feel the magic of joy even deeper.


There are days when I’m so sad, I could cry and cry and I don’t even know why. Then there are days when I look at my son - really look at him in complete silence - and tears come because he makes me so happy that it’s almost unbearable. That’s what Osho means when he says: 


"Remain capable of moving with all the polarities. When sadness comes, be really sad. Don’t try to escape from it - allow it, cooperate with it. Let it dissolve in you and you be dissolved in it. Become one with it. Be really sad: no resistance, no conflict, no struggle. When happiness comes, be happy: dance, be ecstatic. When happiness comes, don’t try to cling to it. Don’t say that it should remain always and always: that is the way to miss it. When sadness comes, don’t say, “Don’t come to me”, or , “If you have come, please go soon.” That is the way to miss it.”


The world becomes more beautiful if you see the opposites for what they are - a chance to experience life even deeper.


Let’s be thankful for everything - happiness and sadness, struggle and magic, fear and courage, love and rejection, ugliness and beauty, life and death.


Have a beautiful or ugly day! Both will contribute to the depth of your life!


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