I had this realization a couple of days ago while I was in Vegas with my hubby, surrounded by lots of emotions and some craziness.
We were never taught how to be happy.
I know we’ve been seeing signs and products for years that promised happiness and some of us bought into them in hopes that we would become happy.
But what about true happiness? Does it even exist?
I lived for YEARS with fake happiness. I was a great smiler and knew when to laugh and what questions to ask. But I had an extreme fear of being seen as anything BUT happy. So I worked overtime so everyone would think I was 100% HAPPY all the time. If any other real emotions were to pop up like sad, or angry, or scared, or jealousy, or embarrassment, I would be ASHAMED and disgusted with myself and then stuff them all way down.
I went through stages with happiness. First I felt like I’d be HAPPY if I got fake boobs. They would give me everlasting joy and happiness.
Then for many years I felt that if I made a lot of money, I would finally KNOW true happiness because I wouldn’t have anything to worry about anymore. Ha!
During that time I also felt that if I did art everyday, I would suddenly just easily be happy and that would be that. That would bring me true happiness.
I didn’t realize that NOTHING brings happiness. Nothing. Deep down to the core happiness? I had no idea what that even was. No one taught me that.
No one taught me that happiness isn’t brought to us. Happiness is WORK. And it’s fuckin hard work.
For me, the only way to feel happy is to allow myself to FEEL the other feelings that aren’t so fun. I also have to be very tuned in to what I need for me, what I can do to take care of me. Take right now for instance. I do not feel HAPPY. I’ve been weepy all morning, and have no energy and want to cry like a baby for a handful of reasons. And yet! I know that happiness is possible.
But here’s what is not going to help:
- PRETENDING to be happy
- PUTTING ON A HAPPY FACE
- Finding something to distract myself from feeling my yucky feelings.
None of those will bring me to happy. For me, here’s what eventually will:
- Crying my face out. Allowing myself to FEEL sad, mad, afraid, hurt, all of it.
- Allowing myself to not be happy, and having compassion for that.
- Naming off what I am grateful for.
- Taking a long bath in the quiet.
- Painting in the quiet and putting all my attention on the paint.
- Meditating or praying
Oh my gosh happiness isn’t just work, it’s a full time job. The only times it starts to feel less like work is when we have good systems in place that BECOME HABITS. I have some great habits, but I still forget them and need to start over from scratch.
I wish we were taught in school to learn about ourselves enough to FIND OUR OWN PATH TO HAPPINESS. How would that be? If we all started to learn what we need when we are in a tough place, we would probably get closer to feeling what actual happiness feels like.
I’m going to go cry against a wall until I’m all dried up and then take a long hot bath. Ha!
I think we are good and smiling through the pain because we were taught it was wrong to be unhappy. I’ve been faking it for most of my life and the things that truly bring me joy are frowned on by society. At the end of the day I think we have to choose us even if it’s unpopular.