My mother in law and I both have a crush on Leonard Cohen so it made sense to go see “A Crack In Everything” together — the exhibit at The Jewish Museum that’s a retrospect of his life and work.
At the end of our time there I was a ball of emotions — tenderness, sadness, hopefulness, vulnerability. (It’s a gorgeous exhibit if you get the chance) I basically felt like raw, wiggly seafood with a big open heart.
But you know what I didn’t feel? Happy.
It was such a powerful reminder that we have this whole spectrum of emotion that goes far beyond just “feeling good”. And that these emotions have just as much value, depth and intelligence — when we allow ourselves to feel + listen.
Many of these less than preferable emotions - like sadness, grief + tenderness can even be gateways of profound connection.
Sure, maybe happiness is a delightful byproduct when we’re feeling a sense of connection.
But you know how that light initially gets in?
Through the crack.
The crack in everything.
(L. Cohen reference— couldn’t resist.)
🤷🏻♀️So why would we bypass + repress this vast spectrum of emotion we have access to — all in the name of upholding HAPPINESS as the gold standard?
The path of “Happiness Only” is really narrow. Somewhat self-aggressive. Not really that effective.
And in my opinion— boring.
Spoiler alert: In my upcoming book Tea And Cake With Demons : A Buddhist Guide to Feeling Worthy, part of the path of recognizing out worth is recognizing the worth of ALL of our emotions.