What Happiness Means

Yep, there are lots of things to be upset about right now. 

I worry about how selfish our culture has seemingly become. I feel frustrated because there is no end in sight for COVID. 

Despite all that, I’m still happy. I have to be, because it’s my flotation device. I can’t give up on protecting my happiness, or the world will be too overwhelming.

Last year when I first started working on my happiness, I felt guilty and like I didn’t have the right to be happy. Then I realized, the state of the world would remain the same whether I felt happy or sad; I decided I would rather be happy.

Being happy doesn’t mean I condone the current situation. It doesn’t mean that I am happy about everything going on in the world. It means I try to find meaning in my life everyday, and to hang on to hope. I can be happy on the day to day while still being anxious about the world. We are allowed to feel more than one thing simultaneously.

I give you permission to be happy and to keep pushing for more change. Happiness isn’t complacency; it’s choosing joy now, because the world will never be perfect, so you might as well enjoy the ride while you’re on it.

You can look at this time as an opportunity to grow without distractions and test your resolve, or you can look at it as a miserable time of unfairness and think of all the ways in which you’ve been ‘robbed’.

And if you do feel like this is a miserable time and the world is unfair, acknowledge that. We can’t hide from our true feelings, even if we would prefer not to have these ‘bad’ feelings. 

Instead of judging your feelings or pushing them down, try sitting with them and accepting them like you would a baby and/or kitten. Just like a real baby or baby cat, your emotions don’t know any better, and all they really need is kindness. Telling them they’re bad won’t make them go away.

There are some emotions we would rather not feel (like sadness, anger), so it is difficult to sit with them. Most of us want to try to avoid pain, which is why we stuff sadness and anger into a box. However, whether they burst out of the box in one big explosion or dangerously seep out over time, they will always escape the box, and you’ll have to feel your feelings regardless. 

Might as well do it as soon as possible, because (Pain x Resistance) = Suffering.

The more you resist your emotions, the more pain you’ll feel in the end.

But this is a post about being happy, so how does allowing yourself to feel sad fit in??

Maybe a better way of saying ‘happiness’ is ‘acceptance.’ 

I know sometimes I’ll still be sad. That doesn’t make me ‘lesser’ or any less ‘happy’, because my overall state of being is happiness/acceptance. 

If I have a drawer full of socks, the drawer itself is ‘happiness’. The socks in it are emotions like joy, sadness, anger, etc. I would rather keep all my socks in a happy drawer as opposed to a sad drawer, because I need to use that drawer everyday, and it just makes things a little more pleasant.

I encourage you to not judge your emotions this week. You are allowed to feel them. In fact, you HAVE to feel them. Sit with them gently, be kind to yourself, and don’t forget to be happy.