Free from care, anxiety, or seriousness. Happy-go-lucky. This is what it means to be lighthearted. The words are easy. What does it feel like when you operate with a light heart?
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project cites this quote from G. K. Chesterton, as inspiration and an idea that haunted her for years. It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.
In searching for an explanation for why something turned out the way it did, or why someone treated us cruelly, it’s easier to blame ourselves. Without verifiable insight into someone else’s thought process, we simply cannot know why they acted the way they did. So it’s convenient to take the blame ourselves, to add to the weight or the burden we carry. It’s easy to be heavy. It’s hard to shake off a stinging remark or a betrayal. It’s hard to agree to take nothing personally.
When you’re hoping for something, when you want something really badly, whether it’s a promotion, that deal you’ve been toiling over, the apartment you bid on, the relationship you desire – it’s easy to remain in that serious grasping, pining, praying mentality that leaves you feeling your life simply won’t be complete without said object. It’s hard to let it go. To know in your heart and in your mind that you – and your life – is perfect, just as it is.
Enthusiasm, lightheartedness, acceptance – they are all hard to cultivate, but they make life easier. It’s hard to muster enthusiasm for something as mundane as folding the laundry, but the zeal with which you decide to fold those socks will make the job more fun (and even though it’s a hard thing to mess up, you’ll probably do an even better job if you do it enthusiastically)! It’s hard to be lighthearted when someone hurts you, when all you want to do is let the feeling of a crushed spirit roil through your body. But if you imagine your heart swelling, floating expanding, instead of sinking, shrinking, and stinging, you’ll feel stronger, resilient. It’s hard to accept our lives and ourselves exactly as we are right not. But acceptance is the base from which transformation springs!
We can make the choice to be light. It’s always available to us. And, the thing is, it may be easier to be heavy, harder to be light, but if you commit to “light” everything will be easier.