Tell people to always be happy and they put up a pretense. They fake their smiles, deny sadness and shun other fragile emotions.
The popular belief that it’s somehow okay to manipulate or coat our genuine feelings to feel happier is misleading.
Acting happy when we’re not
Firstly, how practical is the idea of everlasting happiness?
Sure, life’s not fun when you’re sobbing with your head buried in the pillow. But ignorance towards what’s happening within you is no cure for that either.
Although social media would have you believe that everyone else is living a perfect life except you – it doesn’t show the mess that everyone’s secretly dealing with.
Or even if self-help books can cheer you up in a good way for a while – living an ideal life gets boring eventually as you get fatigued by living based on others’ instructions.
There’s no running away from the fact that happiness, just like other emotions, comes and goes.
The more emphasis we put on being happy, the more likely we’re to live in denial.
To feel alive we must cry, we must be sad, we must be crude and let ourselves be humans. It’s easier for us to move on when we make peace with ourselves.
But when we try to paint a layer of happiness on our existing heap of broken emotions, we create a reason for disappointment.
The healing doesn’t happen when we’re too busy pushing ourselves to laugh instead of figuring and fixing our inner turmoil.
I believe there’s always enough space for every emotion that makes us feel alive and makes us grow.
But what’s the problem with happiness?
Isn’t it what we always seek?
Still, the glorification of happiness as the ultimate goal causes dissatisfaction. When people’s happiness levels drop a little, they get anxious and think something’s wrong with them.
It’s weird to expect oneself to be ecstatic all the time. Also, isn’t it wrong when we feel ashamed and uncomfortable with other natural emotions like sadness, boredom, or insecurities?
Knowing that other emotions are as normal as happiness is a simple way to heal – and seeing them as a ‘bug’ in our otherwise okay life doesn’t work.
You can’t always be yourself or grow when happiness is the only emotion that matters in your life.
It’s the lack of happiness that teaches us to pick ourselves up and keep moving anyway – while hopefully becoming a bit wiser on our way.