“In each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice… No one can live in the light all the time.” ~Libba Bray
The illusion of happiness is just that. It’s an illusion. I think that in our quest to constantly “be happy” and always strive to be positive, we’re making ourselves feel a whole lot worse.
Yes, it’s certainly a much more comfortable place to live… joyful, positive, enlightened, viewing the glass as half full instead of half empty.
But are we missing out on something when we chase after this… berating ourselves when we fall short and God forbid find ourselves in a state even remotely less than happy?
Recently a colleague of mine commented on one of my Instagram posts. He said, “Suck it up! The world isn’t perfect. Make yourself happy and stop being whiny about it. You’re better than that.”
I’m better than that? F**K YOU.
A rage erupted inside of me that I can’t even begin to describe because this person didn’t even know what was happening in my life. Suck it up? Make myself happy?
Suggesting that I’m less than because I’m experiencing an emotion?
Wow. That’s a whole lot of pressure to put on any of us. Because the truth is, I live a pretty joyful, positive, uplifting life. If you asked anyone to describe me, most people would say, “positive, peppy and happy.” And I work hard to be that way as often and as openly as I can. I put myself out there in the world through my writing and on my social media pages which I’ve chosen to make public because I’m fiercely passionate about inspiring, motivating and helping people I don’t even know. But you know how I do that?
I’m real. I share the real, raw, uncomfortable stuff. Not the 5 minutes of happiness from my day or week that most people post on Facebook and other social media outlets but the every day ups and downs and highs and lows of life.
Because the reality is, this is what most of us are experiencing in our own lives.
Are we all putting too much pressure on ourselves to, as my colleague so eloquently stated, “Suck it up, make ourselves happy and stop whining?”
Are we supposed to believe that we are “better than other people” when we’re able to present a false happy face to the world when we’re having a bad day or a challenging time navigating through a difficult time in our lives?
Well, if we are, we shouldn’t because there are real gifts and juicy nuggets of self-awareness that sprout out of the darkness and most depressing moments of our lives.
For anyone who feels the constant need to force themselves to be happy all the time, here’s what you’re missing out on….