As I was relaxing beneath the sunrise in my hammock this morning, sipping on a fresh cup of coffee, and thinking on what I should write about, I, just up and realized that I was grinning from ear to ear.  

At first, I didn’t know how to put two and two together, but soon the mindful recognition of a month long frown finally turned upside down sent a current of kinetic joy through my soul, even as far down as my toes, and then, back up to the ends of my right index finger and it’s neighboring thumb.

And in that one little instant this springlike morning, I again knew, what it felt like to be happy without any attachment whatsoever.

It had nothing to do with any particular circumstance. It was not because of any other person’s actions. It was for no reason at all. As a matter of fact, I’m sure that there is nothing at all concrete that actually triggered it.

And that, to be 100% honest, is the absolute unblemished beauty of it all. To be in an organic state of happiness was like a long-awaited gift that seemed lost in another dark night of my soul.

Said smile in itself symbolized a sort of unforeseen awakening of someone I thought was lost forever in the darkness of spiritual and mental solitude. That being myself.

See, life has a way of unfairly delivering blow after blow in the form of trivial little tragedies, and is very formidable with its equitable approach in its worldwide distribution of pre and post traumatic spells of stress it places upon us all.

See, trauma has its roots in all the moments that represent the deepest suffering we have each uniquely and individually experienced — a broad and variable indicator represented by the highest points of peaks and the lowest of valleys, in the midst of all the unpredictable events that make up the untimely timeline of our lives.

And certainly I am aware that my pain and suffering will never be comparable to the pain that others in this world have endured, but the very nature of trauma is absolutely relative to the lives of each of us, even those that we touch, but especially our very own.

And for me — like most everyone — to climb back up from that lowest point has been a deeply difficult process with many mental trips and falls along the way.

Because in my search through the wilderness of my own life for what they call contentment, I climbed upon the highest of highs in an attempt to prove that I could still conquer the world however it needed conquering — to try and prove to others that my world hadn’t completely collapsed. But it had.

And maybe to possibly prove to myself I was still worthy and deserving of living a joyous and creative life to the fullest of extents no matter what happened around me.

And still, no matter what I did, those highs were fleeting, very much temporal, and the lows often went lower than rock bottom.

And in the wake of all of my anxiety and the passing pain, I found myself imagining, and then, fully believing that my happiness was just an imperceptible state of mental relief from a life that would always seem impossible to endure.

I began to accept that once you have experienced guilt, shame, pain, and humility, maybe life would always be arduous, with the brief moments of fleeting happiness needed to sustain the desire to keep going through this thing in a fluid and forward motion. But that’s not the way it is.

And as to why such a simple moment of seemingly unattributable happiness mattered so much to me, that I felt like writing about it this fine and dandy morning.

It was like a little hint of what’s to come as we approach things getting back to the way they somewhat used to be. I was finally able to see again when I opened my eyes up to the unwavering hope of a better day, something that I had seemingly given up on as of late.

Because I have been distracted by externalities out of my control and my own shortcomings more than I should’ve been. That’s complete honesty. I wasn’t mindful of the fact that I had to regain complete control over all the mental distractions that I can always see from the corner of my eye.

And to be mindful in a world full of distraction is in itself an arduous journey.

Distraction in every last one of its forms is an extremely addictive force, because it offers us the opportunity to avoid all of the internal pain and suffering by focusing on something outside of us.

And that’s the thing about distraction — it’s nothing more than the avoidance of what we must really focus on — healing ourselves in holistic sense.

Mindfulness is an investment in fully believing in ourselves. Mindfulness forces us to be alone with our thoughts, and through metaphysical osmosis, eventually come to terms with the demons that occupy the shadows in our mental space.

But through mindful practice, the act of practicing solitude with ourselves is a sword that helps us to protect ourselves, and eventually slay all those finicky demons so full of grief without projecting them onto others.

And with that smile, I realized all the joy that I thought was fleeting in life, that I thought was lost in the shadows of mental and soul-crushing suffering, was in fact just waiting for me to welcome it back into the light and reaffirm my hopeful mentality that everything is going to be alright.

So when I caught myself grinning from ear to ear this morning over a delightful cup of joe in the first waking moments of a beautiful day, smiling for no good reason at all, well except for the fact, that I am alive and I am still breathing, was exactly what I needed to continue, and maybe you do to.

So if you take anything away from this post, I hope it makes you smile.

Til the next time.

Yours Truly,

Ryan Love