Happy is a 4-Letter Word

I’ve been struggling with what to write today. I feel as though I should acknowledge the weirdness of a pandemic style Christmas, but also want to try to stay positive for those looking for a dose of happy. So how about we do both?

“Happy” is one of those words that people in spiritual circles can toss around like a dagger. I won’t absolve myself of doing this on occasion either. It’s easy to tell others to just be happy, but that doesn’t acknowledge the struggle, which is very real for some of us, especially this year.

“Happy” can become a 4-letter word at times, like a swear word that people spell so they don’t have to say it, or they type it like this, “h@ppy” or “sh!t”. Know what I mean? Do you hear it or read it and just want to scream, “Stop telling me to be happy, damn it!”? The struggle is real.

What about it then? The 30 000 foot view, as I like to call it, says happiness is a choice. It’s not a destination. It’s not based on circumstances. If we do base it on circumstances or events, it’s rather short-lived and infrequent, which means we’re rarely happy for any more than a few minutes. Humans are quick to be on to the next thing, not allowing themselves to enjoy the moment more. Some of us even feel guilty for being happy when others are struggling. Happiness isn’t finite either. There is more than enough to go around. One person being happy doesn’t mean somebody else has to struggle.

The human perspective is different, though. It’s easy to say happiness is a choice, but making that choice is a whole other thing. Humans are wired to respond to circumstances and it can be challenging to withdraw from those circumstances enough to get a proverbial grip on our feelings. We get drawn in easily. We are fascinated by what’s going on around us, whether we like what’s happening or not. That’s the human experience. It’s quite the tug-of-war we play. What’s a human to do?

As always, we do the best we can from where we are. We find as many moments as we can to be okay in, become conscious of whether we are in the past, present or future, and then begin the process of making more conscious choices. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not easy. It takes work. The goal is to have a life we’re happier with more of the time. It’s not about pretending there aren’t problems. It’s not about avoiding anything or squishing our emotions. It’s just finding a balance that works for us as individuals.

So, next time somebody tells you to be happy, tell them you are when it works for you, and leave it at that.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Love to all.


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