Finding Happiness During Tragedy

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.”  ~  His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

When tragedies like the theater shooting on July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colorado happen, it can be difficult for some people to keep their happiness power.  There is the overwhelming sense of sadness to realize that people have lost their lives in a senseless act.  We ask ourselves why something like this could happen.  How can one person be so insensitive to take the lives of others?

There are no good answers to questions like these.  So dwelling on these questions only increases the sense of sadness and loss you may be feeling.  Realize that even the experts don’t understand these events and are often divided on possible causes.

Certainly for those who are directly affected by a tragedy such as this, or the Columbine shootings, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and the like, it is much more difficult to be happy during and immediately after these events.  But even people who have gone through great suffering are often able to eventually enjoy life and be happy again.

None of us get through life without some type of tragedy.  We may not be directly affected by an event like the theater shooting or a natural disaster, but we may know someone who has been affected.  All of us at some point will lose a loved one which is most definitely a personal tragedy.

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Remember, being sad is okay.  It’s an emotion we all need to feel.  No one can be happy all the time.  In fact, if we were always happy, the happiness would eventually lose it’s impact.  Even if you’re sad try to find those little things that will help you feel happy again.  Eventually the sadness starts to fade and the happiness returns.

To me, the most important part of the quotation from the Dalai Lama above is this:  “if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” 

To your happiness!


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