Happy is a feeling not a state of being. I am not someone who preaches stay positive all the time or be grateful for a shit storm, because that's not real and I believe in being real. You don't have to be grateful for things that hurt you, for people who have abused you, or things that have been traumatic. No. I DO believe in finding the gift, and even assholes can bear gifts and lessons. My worst teachers have taught me a lesson, even if it was simply I don't want to walk back in their classroom again. That was learning my boundaries and that was important. Happy feelings do exist and I do not mean to say we cannot have joy in our lives, my point is to right size happy, by defining what it is and what it is not. Go with me for a second, does anyone ever say "I want to be sad"? No. Or "I am striving to live an angry life", now it may seem like when you talk to them but I have yet to hear it bantered about "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of resentment and grudges". Anger needs several blogs devoted to it but my point is we would look at someone as if they had grown a third head of this came out of their mouth. Most of the time people say with sadness, that will pass, it is a feeling, if a person is angry we try to fix them and make them happy, but why? I mean if they aren't happy something must be wrong. However, I am saying happiness is another feeling. Like the others. We say "I feel happy", not "I be happy". That being the case, it is a little unreasonable to expect to feel happy all the time, or to think something is terribly wrong with you if you aren't happy all the time, it is okay not to feel great if you had a shitty day and to think you have to force yourself otherwise instead of just acknowledging what is can cause more problems then it solves.
You may feel a thousand things but to always think you need to be happy seems a little unrealistic we are human and we have all these feelings for a reason. Feelings help indicate to us what is going on in our world and if we ignore some or all of them just striving to feel one because we think that is the only one that is "good"to feel then we may be ignoring things we need to see, and we can miss out on what really does make us satisfied and fulfilled. I am not downing happiness, I have a problem with forcing happiness. By all means be happy, but you don't have to force it. If you don't feel it, there is a reason, I am saying get curious about why, and honor the other feelings because they are great indicators as to what is going on and clues as to what doesn't feel good. All feelings have value mad, scared, sad and HAPPY. They tell us what we want to avoid and what we want to repeat, what needs to change and how we need to grow. So feel them all and look at them for what they are, indicators and growth detectors, not measuring sticks and impossible expectations.
are similar things. Being real has helped me. And positivity doesn't help when I am pissed. There is a difference between being positive and being scared. Some people preach positivity in a way that is minimizing and invalidating. That is about their fear of discomfort. It is okay to have big, intense feelings. It happens. It's life. It doesn't mean you are a negative person because someone else can't deal with your feelings. It is actually RUDE to force someone's process or shame them for it in anyway. Be where you are wherever it is because all real change starts from acknowledging this is where I am, and you don't have to like it. You don't have to like the next place either. Happiness and positivity at all the times and at all costs is ridiculous if someone tells you that because you are grieving, you lost your job, you broke up with someone, your in a trauma response, you broke a nail or you know what you are just pissed off that you should feel different that is their discomfort with your feelings. Happiness is not a remedy it is an emotion. And it isn't appropriate to all situations. It doesn't mean something is wrong with you or your feelings if you don't feel it. In the same vein I am not saying to do nothing, I am simply saying every change I have ever made came from admitting where I was for real and it wasn't all sunshine and roses. Nobody changes when they are all comfy and cozy, why would you? There is nothing to change. The old adage if "if ain't broke, don't fix it" rings true. I do use gratitude in those situations, but my gratitude may be, I am grateful today is over, I am grateful I have a roof over my head, I am grateful that I didn't yell f&$* you at everyone, or I am grateful I did, I am grateful I had someone to call etc. It doesn't mean it is always like that, but it is real.
Being real with feelings, being real with gratitude and being where you are is how it gets done. That's the magic actually that leads me to feeling more free and authentic which means feeling happy on a regular basis. The magic of happy for me is being real and feeling it all.