You can’t be happy all the time. It’s just not possible. Why would you even want to be? Where would the yin be without its yang? The light needs its dark and happiness needs its sadness. Why? To give it meaning, purpose and value. It’s alright, too. Give yourself the space to experience things one-at-a-time as they occur to you. Own it and embrace it, wring every drop of emotion out of each and every feeling that courses through you and explore them to see what they feel like to wear.
To feel a pressure to be happy all the time is an unrealistic expectation that’s been impressed upon us by film, television, music, books and every fairy tale and happy ending we’ve ever heard or seen. It’s too much. You shouldn’t feel sad that you feel sad, it’s just a part of being. Make the most of it. There’s beauty in every emotion, a whole different side of life becomes accessible to you with each one.
You shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed and nor should you feel any such urge to make any more out of it than is. In an age of social media, enjoying the privacy of your own thoughts and feelings is a lost art.
In the time that was, that was all you had- your own mind and your own thoughts. Now you’re bombarded by everyone else’s and it’s virtually a foregone conclusion that you are in return expected to similarly shell every member of humanity who has the gall to venture into the connectivity of the online world with your thoughts and feelings too.
Entertain multiple possibilities and let them entertain you in return
Dwell on your feelings, even the sad ones. Wonder why you feel that way, if indeed there is a reason at all- which there does not have to be. And why should there? Some things just are and require no explanation, or if there is one then maybe it’s not all that interesting and it would be preferable to leave it a mystery and to draw your own suppositions.
Entertain multiple possibilities and let them entertain you in return.
You don’t have to nail yourself down to any ideas, thoughts or beliefs. Be a free agent and enjoy the mystery of being. Just let it happen and follow the way you feel and act accordingly.
You don’t always need to be cheered up. Maybe some people need to be cheered down if anything. There has to be a balance to things or else we would just be irrepressible annoyances who wish everyone a “good day” or something, misleading them with the possibilities of unattainably high standards. Enjoying the lows and the highs is all a part of the ride.
Listen to the vocabulary your body and mind use to communicate with you and learn to understand that language
Maybe things are different where you are, dear reader, but as an Englishman who lives on a usually cold and rainy, windswept coast I am suspicious of anyone who is either too happy or happy for too long (and I usually suspect drugs) and so, a natural appreciation of melancholy is a part of the national landscape. As John Cleese once said “being English, I crave disappointment” and while this is hyperbolic to my point, it does prepare us for disappointment and gives amplitude to anything differing from that.
I would like to clarify that I’m not encouraging you to be sad or to make yourself miserable in any way, I’m just saying that you should relish and experience every and any feeling that comes over you, just as you should with happiness or fear — fear being something that you should of course investigate with some urgency as there could be something behind that which might save your life or help you avoid the immediacy of danger that you may find yourself in.
Listen to the vocabulary your body and mind use to communicate with you and learn to understand that language, whatever it may be saying.
Investigate, explore and experience- wherever and whenever possible.
Originally published at medium.com