On light and dark: part 2.
Something that happens often is people mistake me for being younger than my age (I'm 33). Today, this happened and my natural reaction was: "phewww no I definitely don't wanna be in my 20s again." When asked why, I had to take a moment and said that ageing gets a bad rep in the media world but is actually one of the most empowering processes. It's true.
One of the things I could only learn with age and experience is that accepting both the light and the dark is what leads to contentment. In earlier years I chased contentment - it's that carrot on a stick that's within reach but not quite attainable. The tough moments had to be erased, otherwise you couldn't be happy. But that's not true.
You can't expect life to be without bumps because then you'll be resisting so much of the natural order of things. The happiest people aren't that way because they've had it easy - often, they've been through trauma and unimaginable sadness - it's because they've accepted that the 'bad' will happen just as the good stuff does.
And in the end, when you feel gratitude towards God (or whatever Higher Power you believe in) for both the highs and the lows... that's when you allow yourself to taste real joy.