Most days are filled with joy. Joy to be alive and have the ability to make a difference in the lives of those around me. Joy in finding the love of my life. Joy for the freedom to be myself everyday and so many other wonderful things in my life that i am grateful for. i am generally a very happy person...i have even been told i am too happy a couple of times and to tone it down, but i realized that my happiness (or light, if you will) if too bright can make the darkness that some feel, feel even darker.
There are, of course, things in my life that are not perfect, so i work on them...my weight for example. i try not to let things get me down, but some days i am not successful and i allow myself to be brought down. i call these days, "Dark Days."
i was raised a Buddhist and believe that Heaven and Hell are places that exist within us, not an external place you go to after you die. There are also many states of life that one can feel in between Heaven and Hell as well and i do my best to rise above my fundamental darkness and negativity, but occasionally, i lose sight of all that is good in my life and the light seems to fade from within me...Dark Days.
To give you a better idea of the different life conditions we all have within us, the following are what is known as the "Ten Worlds"
Hell: A state of suffering and despair in which we perceive we have no freedom of action. It is characterized by the impulse to destroy ourselves and everything around us.
Hunger: The state of being controlled by insatiable desire for money, power, status etc. While desires are inherent in any of the Ten Worlds, in this state we are at the mercy of our cravings and cannot control them.
Animality: In this state, we are ruled by instinct with neither reason nor moral sense nor the ability to make long-range judgments. We operate by the law of the jungle and will not hesitate to take advantage of those weaker than ourselves and fawn on those who are stronger.
Anger: Here, awareness of ego emerges, but it is a selfish, greedy, distorted ego, determined to best others at all costs and seeing everything as a potential threat to itself. In this state we value only ourselves and tend to hold others in contempt.
Humanity: (also called Tranquility): This is a flat, passive state of life, from which we can easily shift into the lower four worlds. While we may generally behave in a humane fashion in this state, we are highly vulnerable to strong external influences.
Heaven: (or Rapture): This is a state of intense joy stemming, for example, from the fulfillment of some desire, a sense of physical well-being, or inner contentment. Though intense, the joy experienced in this state is short-lived and also vulnerable to external influences.
Learning: In this state, we seek the truth through studying the teachings or experience of others.
Realization: In this state we seek the truth not through others' teachings but through our own direct perception of the world.
Having realized the impermanence of things, people in these states have won a measure of independence and are no longer prisoner to their own reactions as in the six paths. However, they often tend to be contemptuous of people in the six paths who have not yet reached this understanding. In addition, their search for truth is primarily self-oriented, so there is a great potential for egotism in these two states.
Bodhisattva: Bodhisattvas are those who aspire to achieve enlightenment and at the same time are equally determined to enable all other beings to do the same. Conscious of the bonds that link us to all others, in this state we realize that any happiness we alone enjoy is incomplete, and we devote ourselves to alleviating others' suffering. Those in this state find their greatest satisfaction in altruistic behavior.
Buddhahood: Buddhahood is a dynamic state that is difficult to describe. We can partially describe it as a state of perfect freedom, in which we are enlightened to the ultimate truth of life. It is characterized by infinite compassion and boundless wisdom. In this state, we can resolve harmoniously what appear from the standpoint of the nine worlds to be insoluble contradictions. A Buddhist sutra describes the attributes of the Buddha's life as a true self, perfect freedom from karmic bonds throughout eternity, a life purified of illusion, and absolute happiness.
Anyway, when i have a Dark Day, it's like waking up on the wrong side of the bed and you can't figure out why. Most days, i wake up feeling like a lion ready to take o my day and overcome any obstacles that come my way. Thankfully, my Dark Days are far and few between and typically only last one day, so i am going to go to bed now and wake to a new day and another chance to manifest the best of me.
i feel a little better having this off my chest...attempts a smile :)