Many people find happiness in simple pleasures; such as a book, a movie, or through the joy of their loved ones. A few find it by doing good deeds; such as helping a friend, a family member, or a stranger in need. Others find it by pursuing rewarding activities; such as a challenging project, a hobby, or advancing in their career. And a lot find it through the positive actions and feelings directed towards them, by those closest to them.
Happiness can be found in a lot of things in life.
But what about when life has kicked you down, and you forget how to be happy?
When the emotion reveals itself, it may be accompanied by a puzzling pain. You may start to tear up, or feel overwhelmed. Perhaps you ask yourself, “Why do I feel this way?”. Or, “What am I suppose to feel?”.
There has been a lot of darkness in my life. It completely consumed me at one point. Everything spun out of control, and my emotional pain built up to the point where I grew deeply depressed.
At first I felt so alone, because no one in my life realised I was in so much pain. I tried to fight the depression, but eventually negative emotions became all I felt. They soon turned into my comfort zone, and I forgot how to be happy.
So when my life began to turn around, I found myself unsure about happiness. I didn’t know how to let the emotion back in. And honestly, being happy frightened me. Depression was all I was familiar with, so sometimes I wanted to run back to it. Every time happiness crept up on me, I couldn’t process it. I would smile, but my eyes would fill up with tears. I would feel a warmth inside, but it was accompanied by a deep sorrow. Overall, it was a strange and uncomfortable blend of feelings.
Looking back at that time, I now realise my feelings were a result of fear and uncertainty. I was afraid to come out of my comfort zone, and I was afraid to be happy. I thought, if I let happiness in, it could and would leave me.
Vulnerability is an unfortunate price to pay for happiness. But if you don’t open the door and invite it in, you will remain in emotional pain. It will take time to refamiliarise yourself with the emotion, and a little more time to let go of your negative feelings. Break down the wall you built to protect yourself, and take a leap of faith. Allow yourself to be happy.
Ultimately, if you’re uncomfortable with happiness, act on the lyrics of a No. 1 hit by Bobby McFerrin…
“Don’t worry, be happy”.