I wonder if it’s alright to keep a smile when I am crushing inside … I have always done that when I`m outside only to cry so hard when I`m back in the house. I don’t wanna show people what’s going on with me. At the same time I want true happiness that only God can give.
Problem is I feel relieved only after prayer … a few hours from that … am back to my heavy heart. I don’t know how to keep being happy. I have been asking God to give me a joyful heart … how can I listen to Him? ~ Mimi
Hi Mimi, before I answer your question, let me tell you a little story.
There was an elderly Chinese philosopher who was approached by a young woman; she was grief-stricken because of the loss of her only son. “I will be able to help you,” he assured her, “if you will bring me some mustard seed, but it must be obtained at a home where there was never been any sorrow.”
Eagerly the young woman started her search. In every place she visited, however, there had been trials and loss of loved ones. Returning, she exclaimed, “How selfish I have been! Sorrow is common to all.” “Ah,” said the elderly sage, “you have now learned a valuable lesson and acquired a wealth of wisdom which has not only eased your own grief but has prepared you to sympathize with others.”
No One is Free of Sorrow
When we´re in pain, we tend to focus on our pain. As a result, our sorrow is compounded. But if we try to look past our pain, we will see that everyone has her share of sorrow. We will see the suffering of others and we will realize that some brothers and sisters are suffering more than we do.
Just like the young woman in the story, knowing that we are not the only ones going through a difficult phase in life will help ease our grief, and we will find the strength to sympathize and help others who are also grief-stricken.
In November last year, when typhoon Haiyan walloped the Philippines, at least 10,000 Filipinos were killed, hundreds of kids were left orphans, and millions were left homeless. To date, many victims are still missing.
One Christian woman lost her house and entire belongings, her business reduced into debris, and there was nothing to eat and drink for days, if not for weeks. But instead of letting the catastrophe crush her spirit, she looked at the good side – her kids and family members were intact. No one drowned or went missing, thus she rejoiced.
She then mobilized other survivors for an underground relief operation. Through a meager internet connection, she solicited abroad and used the donations she collected to help other survivors. She and her team reached many islands and isolated areas which never received food and water supplies.
The pain that she experienced was what fueled her desire to reach out to those who were in worse situation than hers.
How often do you entertain negative emotions? Do you also pay attention to others´ pain and suffering?
Know the Cause of Your Heavy Heart
What causes your pain? What triggers your heavy heart? Other than that you are crushed inside, I know little of what exactly you are going through, thus, I can´t give the best help. However, I encourage you to take a pen and paper, sit, and write down the VERY root/s of your pain.
Writing it down is important because then the pain becomes visible. Why are you feeling this? Why are you suffering? Write them down.
Look at the things that you´ve written carefully, what can you do to start moving past them, even just baby steps, each day? How can you make yourself feel better? Write them down too.
Did You Give Yourself Time to Grieve?
Some pain won´t go away by simply ignoring them or shoving them under the carpet. This kind of pain needs the right amount of attention and you need to acknowledge them by taking time to grieve.
When I heard that my first love got married, I was completely crushed. He was my best friend. We got separated and lost contact when I went abroad. It was the worst heartache I ever experienced.
But instead of letting myself cry over the lost love, I buried myself in work. I cut my social life. I worked, worked and worked.
Two years later I thought that I was over it, but one night when I got back to an empty apartment from work, I broke down. I was on the floor, weeping. I continued crying for the next two months in the privacy of my room. It was that old wound that had not healed.
Pain from broken heart or loss of a loved one requires a person to grieve in order to heal. Take your time. Allow yourself to grieve.
Share Your Pain
Ever encountered women who do their best to inflict misery to others? They´re usually bitter, angry and unhappy, they hate seeing other women happy while they are miserable. They want to share their pain by making others miserable too.
“Shared joy is double joy, and shared sorrow is half sorrow.” ~ C.A Tiedge
But sharing our sorrow doesn´t mean we should inflict sorrow on others. It means we should take advantage of the gift of genuine friendship.
Having a trusted friend whom you can pour your heart out, who doesn´t judge, scold, or solve your problems, is crucial in easing your pain.
When Jennifer Aniston went through a horrifying divorce from Brad Pitt, her bestfriend Courteney Cox gave her a pair of shoulders to lean on … until she was able to move forward.
If you have no close friends whom you feel secured sharing private confidential information to, seeing a therapist may help.
Should You Keep Smiling Even if You´re Hurting?
In my article 6 Research Proven Ways to Make Yourself Happy, smiling comes first. Regardless of what you´re feeling inside, smiling has the ability to improve your mood and make you feel happy.
Several scientific researches conducted proved that if you smile, your body releases endorphins, the feel good chemicals, which interact with the receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain.
[Tweet “It´s okay to smile even if you are hurting inside.”]
It´s not enough to just show your teeth though, your smile should really reach your eyes. Here are four steps to perfect that happy smile.
If all attempts in trying to overcome your pain fail, just smile.
On Having a Joyful Heart
Dealing with daily stresses and challenges can easily lead us to forget all our blessings. I have the habit of stressing out too much on problems which involve money, health issues, deadlines, among others.
But whenever I feel low, I take it as a reminder to go back and read God´s love letters. If I´m really sad, I hug the Bible when I sleep. Without fail, God´s words provide me sense of peace and comfort.
Couple your prayer with reading the Bible and you will surely hear Him.
I will bring you in my prayers too, Mimi. I wish you happiness.