Feelings are like waves. You cannot stop them from coming, but you can decide which ones to surf. – Author Unknown
When setting out on a path to find your “you” or searching for a more positive, happy life, we can sometimes get caught up in the “rules”. To be happy, you must always be cheery, you should always look at things with a positive spin, you should always take the high road, you should, you should, you should… Well, that’s all fine and dandy, and while striving to accomplish just that is admirable, it’s not at all realistic. If we, as living, breathing humans could maintain “happy” all the time, we would not be human. However, how we handle the emotions we are feeling can determine how clear the path to a more positive way of life will be.
This was a difficult lesson for me, because when I have attempted the positive path in the past and sought to inspire it, I felt that if I didn’t follow the “rules” I was fraudulently living and blogging about something I had no business writing about. How can I inspire happiness if I was feeling something other than elated or peppy? This idea I had in my mind derailed me often. I would be disappointed in myself, and that disappointment spiraled into insecurity, which spiraled into thinking I was ridiculous to believe I was the person that could talk about living happy. What I didn’t realize was that I was just in a moment, and if I wouldn’t have fought my emotions, I acknowledged my feelings and allowed myself to feel what I felt just at that moment, happiness could and would have followed.
Happiness does not mean we have to be upbeat and peppy all the time. Maintaining “Suzy Sunshine” at all times is a fantasy and can even have the reverse effects of what we seek. If that is what anyone is expecting, they are unfortunately setting themselves up to fail. Happy means that when we do feel sad, lonely, angry, or frustrated we acknowledge it and allow ourselves to feel it. Cry, go for a walk, vent to a friend, let out the emotions that are bottled up, and then come to terms with those emotions, and find our way back to our best path more clearly. Burying the negative feelings does not mean they go away, it just means they fester until one day it all boils over, and for me, it meant quit what I knew in my heart I was meant to do.
My advice to you, is when you feel like happy just isn’t happening that day, acknowledge it, feel it, allow the emotions to flow through you, and release them in a healthy meaningful way, then breathe. This too shall pass, and happiness is still an option, just give yourself that moment. When you are genuinely honest with how you are feeling, the process of healing and moving into a new frame of mind becomes so much more feasible. Remember to breathe, rely on your tribe, be honest with yourself, and soon it’s no longer just a path, but happiness becomes your way of life.
I write these words because I feel it’s so very important to acknowledge the truth of the moment and the honesty of how you are feeling. Be true to you and the path is so much more clear.