Have you ever found yourself in a really smelly room? And yes, I do mean that literally, and not metaphorically. Have you ever walked into a room, or been stuck in a space that smelt really bad? I’m going to guess that most people have, and although you may not remember the particulars of time, place of smell, you will, however, remember the intention or desire to leave as soon as possible and move into a different, non-smelly space to avoid the unpleasantness any longer.
Life is filled with smelly rooms. Situations and circumstances that don’t feel, look or smell that great. Whether it’s as simple and basic as finding oneself in a room with a bad odor, or something as complex as finding yourself abandoned, rejected, betrayed or abused, the set-up is the same.
This earthly experience called life is made up of an abundance of contrasts. Good days, bad days, rainy days, sunny days, the joys of birth, the sorrow of death, the exhilaration of a good physical workout, the pain and discomfort of a broken bone or swollen limb. We journey through our lives navigating the ups and downs, the twists and turns of circumstance and experience, and through this wild ride, we learn what we like and what we don’t.
We understand which situations emote a positive feeling and which situations emote a negative one. All of us, I think it’s fair to say, will do our best to avoid the negative ones as best we can.
However, life is tricky and some experiences we cannot avoid, and nor are we meant to. Through these contrasts, we get to experience the bucket of emotions that help us reach those very high highs and the very low lows.
Without the experience of something painful or sad, we can’t fully experience the exuberant relief of the opposite, which is great joy, delight, and gratitude. Without the contrasting emotions, we are unable to fully understand emotionally the difference between the two. The not so good feeling experience
A good example of this is when you may have been desperately hot and thirsty and you’ve gone way too many hours without a drink of water and finally, you get to have one, and the relief and delight of drinking the water feel better than you’ve ever experienced it before. Likewise, when someone close goes away for a long time and in their absence, you miss their presence and seeing them again is like sweet joy. Or when you have experienced prolonged loneliness and being alone and then find yourself in a situation of inclusion and companionship; the experience of the negative not so great situation opens the door for us to fully feel the emotion of joy from its opposite. Gratitude is also gifted with this contrast and we learn the precious lesson of not taking things for granted.
The human heart is designed to feel a myriad of emotions. The very wonderful, the very dreadful and all that lies in between. This is what the soul signed up for, to experience the huge chocolate box of emotions, rather than staying in its innate state of love and joy. So the soul embarks on its earthly journey into a body and
This set up is different for every individual but what isn’t different is the universal life law of contrasts. Human growth is dependent on contrast to push it forward and evolve. Desires are born of experiences that we do not want. A desire is the result of that an experience we don’t wish to experience again. The desire for a better world, the desire to experience more love, the desire to be healthier, happier, more learned, more at peace; the desire to lose weight, the desire to learn to drive, the desire to put on a heavy warm coat on a cold winters’ day. All these simple basic desires are born from the experience of the absence of having what you want.
All of us on this journey are going to experience many a metaphorical smelly room. On any given day we will experience situations we won’t like. Some, through fear, will remain in the smelly room for way too long. They will allow themselves to become victims of the odious smell and tell the story of how much they hate the smell so much. Eventually, those people will have to decide if they want to remain in the smelly room, or get up and reach for the door handle, and make an intention to move towards a less offensive smelling room. For those moments that irritate, hurt or sadden you, notice that at that moment, a desire is born to experience something better.
Smelly Rooms are there for a reason. They offer great service to humanity and without