Sad You’re Sad? Happiness Isn’t Everything…
Happiness is never stopping to think if you are. ~ Palmer Sondreal
You want to be happy. Of course you do. You know it’s a state of mind. You know that it’s supposed to be the journey, not the destination, and that no one can take it from you without your consent.
All of that is great, in theory, but when you don’t feel like singing with the chipper birds every moment of every day, you can’t help but wonder what the hell is wrong with you, or with everyone else around you.
Bad news—you feed the absence of happiness even more by complaining that you aren’t happy. You grow it ten fold by beating yourself up that you can’t just be happy anyway.
And there it is, the downward spiral of the unhappy can’t-be-happy-s.
I’ve been sharing a lot about happiness lately, with reconnecting to joy being a significant part of my new video series, Life After Hell: 3 Mandatory Steps to Catapult into Your Radiant, Brilliant, and Empowered Self. It’s important to keep joy in the conversation because that’s what all of this is for! But happiness isn’t everything.
While it is everything we’re striving for each moment, the journey brings challenges, stress, and trials, some that require periods of grief to pass through. Many people have learned to infuse happiness into every part of that process, while the rest of us are still working on even believing the concept of “happiness in the ‘now’ regardless of circumstances.”
But how can happiness be everything, and not be everything at the same time?
Here’s the context. I’m referring to the plague we often succumb to of limiting our actions based on current levels of happiness. We think we have to be happy or else we are worthless, and indeed we feel worthless and incapable. We have commitments to keep, duties to fulfill, long-term/non-urgent goals to achieve (those are tragically the first to drop out!), and other productivity to maintain, but we are swimming in the deep blue.
This is when we procrastinate because we truly “don’t feel like it,” like practically completely unable to do it. Or because we’re in avoidance mode, or fear of failure or success has paralyzed us. Or maybe feeling down means we can hardly stand up to do anything in the first place.
This is when happiness isn’t everything. This is when we have to forget happiness for a moment and bolster our integrity and dedication to our word.
This is when just getting off our butts and getting the work done is everything.
This is when it’s okay to do the things you need to do and not feel like fist-bumping your keyboard, hammer, or broom. This is when it’s okay to just get crap done even if you have to cry through it.
I’ve been in kung fu as a student years ago, and cried through the workout because it was all I could do to just get myself into that room to do something good for myself. I’ve kicked and screamed all the way through house cleaning. I’ve begged my kitty or previous pups to be near me while I worked just so I could have some semblance of joy around.
Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.
But, then the miracle happens. That push through the stinkfest brings a spark of accomplishment, courage, and satisfaction back into our souls. It makes us forget why we were all mopey and hopeless. It gets us out of our own spinning heads and closer to the Universe’s realm where we can begin to think clearly again.
BAM! Hello, happiness!
You didn’t have to try to be happy in order to be happy. You just had to quit trying to stay down. You did something else, and opened the door for joy to return. You did that. And there is a good chance it turned out to be way easier than you thought.
If only we’d stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time. ~ Edith Wharton
So quit being sad that you’re sad. Quit trying to be happy. Just open the door by getting some productive or personally fulfilling activities done and let it in.
I guess happiness really is everything after all.