Most of us find ourselves caught up in emotional suffering from time to time. If you feel like your in a funk, recovering from a personal loss, tragedy, or falling into a depression you can take action to alleviate the pain. First, begin to find the small spark of joy and love within your heart. Find what generates feelings of warmth and happiness. Once you find your inner flame of joy, you can begin feeding the flame to make it grow stronger. Feed the flame of inner joy with acts of compassion and service to your fellow man. When you help others, it generates positive feelings of self worth and builds your capacity for compassion. Another act of feeding the flame is to cultivate gratitude as much as possible. When we focus on what we appreciate in life, we take the focus off of what we don't like. As we begin paying more attention to the positive aspects of our lives, our heart begins to grow. Compassion and gratitude will fill your soul with such joy, that your problems and emotional pain will take a back seat in your awareness. As you pay less attention to your emotional pain, it will begin to fade. Be warned: the more attention you give to your problems and pain the stronger the negative emotional response will be. Take control over your awareness and use it wisely.
Connect with the spark of joy
and love within your heart.
Then feed it with gratitude and compassion,
allowing the flames to grow so strong
that they burn away your pain.
Begin watching where you focus your awareness. Do you focus on problems that are out of your control? Do you often think about emotionally painful events from your past? Do you look for what is wrong with the world or people around you, instead of what is good about them? Retrain your awareness by tuning in to positive aspects of life. Cultivate compassion through service and practice an attitude of gratitude and you will see amazing results in your moods. Be kind to yourself as you progress in cultivating your awareness. Any amount of effort will pay off with feelings of increased happiness.
Laura Barrette Shannon
author of Be Happy Now book