Bad days come and go. That is all there is to know. Life is up and down, ebb and flow. In the mashed potato dance of life you know it’s not all good, but do you know how to enjoy a bad day? Do you know how to make a bad day bearable?
First, picture good and bad days as positive and negative polarities in a single process like a magnet. If you cut off the negative polarity on a magnet, a new negative polarity appears. You can’t get rid of a bad day. If you expect only good, you’ll be disappointed.
The trick is to enjoy all the nuances of life (bad days too) and put your philosophical pedal to the metal.
In The Way of Myth Joe Campbell refers to a saying, “Joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.” Life isn’t meant to be happy. That’s not what it’s about. It isn’t about lifestyle choices, convenience and a good golf score. Sorrow is the essence of life. Get into it. That’s what myths are about. A myth asks, “Are you affirmative enough with your relationship to say, Yes! – no matter what?”
Life’s a killer. It’s true. Your body will die. Enjoyment is the ability to absorb the horror of that truth. The question is, “Will your love absorb it?”
Go spiritual. Thoughts immaterial. Soul Man. Rock on.
Charlie Chaplin said, “Life is a tragedy when seen close-up, but a comedy in long shot.” Unhappy people want the world to be other than it is. Let a bad day be, smile, slam your heart on the table and say, Bring it on. You can say, This too shall pass! Condition temporary. The world isn’t a problem. Turn your gaze inward and look where you’re looking from. Enjoy your vantage point.
The you that’s looking is the same as it’s been since day one. A 100 year old man feels the same as he did at 15. Forget age. Forget knowledge. Get to the source of it all.
Go graceful. You can dance if you want to.
Forget criticism. Expect nothing. Go blank. Be an idiot. That should be easy. Forget that you’re a third person thing called I, me, and mine. With awareness, imagine reversing your gaze. Look at the looker looking. Look from the source. Give your face away. You don’t own it anyway.
Dance to the art of noise. Walk a beat without swinging your arms. Look out the sides of your eyes. What you see is relative to where you are.
Dualists say that it’s mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. They say the mind is a non-physical thing so put on a sweater and let intellectual powers override threats, problems and difficulties.
Monists say that a whole variety of things could be explained as a single substance or a single thing that we call “the universe.”
Scientists say that every living thing is made of cells which are protein based robots too small to feel anything. Cells have the properties of life but no part of them is alive.
In the short video What is life? a narrator asks, “If everything in the universe is made of the same stuff, does this mean that everything in the universe is dead or that everything in the universe is alive? That it’s just a question of complexity? Does this mean we can never die because we were never alive in the fist place? Is life and death an irrelevant question and we haven’t noticed it yet? Are we much more a part of the universe than we thought?” (kurzgesagt).
The Flaming Lips (the band that is) made a free-wheeling song about escaping into dreams on bad days. The chorus goes, “And all your bad days will end. You have to sleep late when you can. And all your bad days will end” (Bad Days). In the video they enjoy an old motel, summer, watermelons and a couple of kids enjoy riding their bikes.
And there it is. It’s as simple as that. Look at the world like a kid. Have no idea. Enjoy.
Enjoyment isn’t about money or achievement. You don’t need to be smart, strong or even slightly good looking. To enjoy reality, all of it – bad days too! – cleaning teeth and toilets, waiting in lines, getting cancer, losing everything, giving, taking, the whole damn thing! – through it all, whatever happens, let it. Do what you can. Be just and live in heartfelt awareness. Tune your senses to the frequency of the moment like a Nacho Libre Religious man singing, “I am I am!”
Unfettered by fury or despair, open to experience, where death is nothing, the future a concept and compassion a reality, therein find sublime enjoyment. There, like a non-violent pirate say, “Arr! Man, she be good!” You say without fear like a llama going over the falls, “Bring it on.“
Boa, F. (1994). The Way of Myth: Talking With Joseph Campbell. Shambhala Pocket Classics.
Harding, D. E. (2000). Face to No-Face: Rediscovering Our Original Nature. D. Lang (Ed.). Carlsbad, CA.