The “Be Happy” Syndrome

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The last few days I haven’t been very happy. Just. Not. Happy. I haven’t been chipper. I’m not whistling happy tunes or dancing around like I normally do, and I haven’t been the life of the party like I usually am. I haven’t been the me that most people prefer. Even with saying all of that, I can honestly say that I’ve felt no need to “Be happy” whatsoever. I don’t feel bad about not being happy and I’m not even trying to do the whole “Fake it til I make it” thing. I’m just letting myself be NOT HAPPY. I personally don’t see anything wrong with that! I really don’t. I have actually felt the most at peace by just letting myself be what feels right for me right now. I’ve been in my headspace…I’m feeling some things out… I’m asking myself questions and allowing myself the chance to answer back. I’m present and I’m taking inventory of the good, the bad, and the ugly… in me. Even now I am still not happy… but I am HAPPIER than yesterday or the days before that. Today I’m a step further. Today I’ve come along on what I was in the process of the days before.

See, that is what I’ve found to be the beauty of not putting up emotional smoke and mirrors. You aren’t resisting, suppressing, or avoiding anything. You aren’t distracting yourself. You aren’t hiding FROM YOU. You are able to allocate the energy you would have used for suppressing, on something that’s truly productive and helpful. You use the same energy either way… the difference is in the progress and results.

Sometimes people can have a way of wanting to make you feel uncomfortable with the version of yourself that is making them feel anything less than stellar. They just want you to “Be Happy” no matter what’s going on, when in reality it’s not because it’ll be good for you…it’s because it’ll be better for them. The exception is if you’re just being a jerk to people… then stop! Ain’t nobody got time for that! However if its that you aren’t filling people’s expectations by not being perky or jovial, and you know that there is a purpose for you within being somber, then by all means BE. Don’t be pressured out of your purpose by someone else’s need to feel good around you.

If you find yourself wanting to just BE, but struggle with the pressure to “Be happy”, here are 3 things I’ve learned that may help you on your journey:

1. Happiness is dependent on what’s HAPPENING, but contentment is an inside job. Happiness is a beautiful thing, but is often contingent on if people, places, or things are making you feel that way. Contentment is an inner peace that is present when nothing in particular is happening at all. It’s possible to have in inner contentment that doesn’t translate to outer exuberance. Only you can know where you really are either way.

2. You know yourself more than anyone else does. Trust that. Don’t let anyone try to tell you that you must be mad, depressed, or upset just because you are aren’t “Happy” to their standards. If you know you aren’t mad, then don’t let someone talk you out of your process just because you don’t want people thinking “Something” of you. People will always have an opinion, but at the end of the day you have to look yourself in the mirror and ask “Was I true to myself today?”. Letting yourself process will only make you a better version of yourself, and that is something that everyone will benefit from!

3. There is such a thing as “Too much of a good thing”. Be introspective, be somber, be contemplative… but don’t get stuck there for too long. There is enough deep stuff to think about to last you a lifetime, so pace yourself! You don’t want to end up thinking yourself into a depression or funk. That’s not helpful. That’s harmful.

I think that if we all let ourselves just BE a little more often, we would feel a lot less mixed up inside about ourselves. We would become our own best friend… and when your best friend wants to talk about their joys, fears, successes and failures, you listen… don’t you? So give yourself that same love and respect. You won’t regret it.

Yours Truly, Andrea


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