Trust the Sweetness

This week the message I keep receiving is, “Trust the sweetness,” meaning, trust the sweetness of life, trust the sweetness of possibility, trust the sweetness of my relationships. For the past month, I’ve been wrestling with joy, doing my best to let more in, acting as if when that seems impossible, and trying to accept where I am without judgment and criticism. Related to it all is having faith, which is a conscious choice, and in this case, it means having faith that life is sweet.

I know it’s easy to do the opposite, to say, “Look! We’re all screwed!” I know how tempting it is to say everything is awful and to build a case for that based on real-world events. Humans have a negativity bias, we are primed for that. But we are also primed for joy and pleasure and there’s lots of evidence to support that too.

While writing this blogpost, I kept thinking about something that happened to me in May 2019. I visited with my then next-door neighbor and their dog for a spell. When I re-entered my apartment, I walked to the bathroom to wash my hands. As I turned and looked at my reflection in the mirror, I noticed something on my back. My heart leapt thinking a large spider crawled on me. When I peered closer, I determined it wasn’t a spider, it was a bumblebee.

honey and bee

I love this picture with its perfect mix of trust and sweetness. Photo by Fabian Kleiser on Unsplash

I spent literally one second outside crossing the threshold from my neighbor’s apartment into mine, and in that second, a bumblebee landed on me. Either that or my neighbor had a bumblebee in their house. Regardless, a strange event.

In shamanism, do you know what bumblebees represent? The honey or sweetness of life, of course. I’d like to believe the bumblebee showed up in an unusual way to emphasize that point. To say, “Yes, remember life is joyful, it’s sweet. Keep going in this direction. Remember good things and keep in mind positive outcomes are just as likely as negative ones.”

It’s not only the bumblebee delivering this message; it’s also numerous spiritual traditions around the world. The ancient Hindu scriptures, the Vedas, say, “This quinquelemental world has been born out of joy, is being maintained in joy, and into sacred joy will melt.”

My spiritual teacher also says, “On deeper analysis, we find that every object of this universe is sweet. Sweetness, not harshness, is the reality. [The Divine Beloved] no doubt deals many blows to the microcosms, but that is just to facilitate their progress. Judged from a materialistic perspective, every blow is apparently harsh, but actually it is not harsh, it is soft. [The Divine] is concerned for your well-being, that is why [It] resorts to that apparently crude technique.”

Everything is in service of sweetness, to move me closer to the Divine Beloved that is within me and outside of me. Even the hard things. Even the painful things. Even the baffling things. The loving presence that pervades this entire universe wants me to be happy, wants me to be joyful. I’m being guided to that and the more I can trust that I’m being led somewhere sweet, that life is sweet, the better. The world was born out of joy, is being maintained in joy, and will melt in sacred joy. And that means me too.

I dream of a world where we allow ourselves to move toward joy. A world where we recognize we can choose what we focus on. A world where we train ourselves to focus on sweetness and have faith that’s where we’re being led. A world where we trust in all the sweetness life has to offer.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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