You’re Probably Doing This Wrong, Too…

Did you know that half of life is SUPPOSED to be negative? It’s true. And it’s pretty much the best news ever.

I can’t recall how many years I spent in misery thinking that I was supposed to be happier. I thought I must be doing it wrong.

I read anything I could find on how to be happy, the psychology of happiness, positive thinking and I googled the subject umpteen different ways. I beat myself up because I believed that point of life was to be happy as much as possible. I felt guilty that I wasn’t happy more often.

Lies.

All lies.

The truth is that life is meant to be a balance. Positive emotions are only positive BECAUSE we have negative emotions. If everything were positive we would have no frame of reference. We wouldn’t appreciate wonder if everything were wonderful all of the time.

The contrast is what gives texture, depth and meaning to life. The contrast is necessary, my friends. We appreciate ecstasy because we know despair. We experience delight because we have known disgust. We recognize fulfillment because we have felt emptiness. The list goes on and on.

Therefore, our quest to be happier ought to be something at which we take a long, hard look. What if we instead asked ourselves, “How can I accept and appreciate the moments when I feel unhappy and see them as a valuable part of my human experience?”

Only then will we stop trying to resist and avoid all of those negative emotions and stop beating ourselves up because we can’t meet an unrealistic expectation of near constant happiness. We can relax, knowing that we aren’t doing it wrong if we aren’t happy all the time. We can make room for all of it and be fully present in our human experience.

Why, oh why, don’t they teach this in school?!

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