Scallywag

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

~ Mae West ~

Happiness And Damaged Goods

September 7th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 59 secs

Burying your long term hurts behind a smile is not the answer.

Burying your long term hurts behind a smile is not the answer.

One of the key things purveyors of positive mental attitude don’t talk about is the influence of damage in people’s lives.

You can gloss over everything with a sunshine-y smile and a “relax, it’s all-fine” attitude. Yet, lifelong problems are not that easy to dismiss and, eventually, difficulties need to be dealt with.

Scratch beneath the glossy appearance of most happy families and you’ll find plenty that isn’t as it seems. Tensions about a lack of loving, jealousies, and abuse are just the tip of the iceberg.

So how can anyone talk about happiness and portray it as a “put a smile on your dial and your done (Now, who’s the next one?)” approach?  Life is inherently messy and happiness only happens when we join a lot of dots about better ways to live, love, and forgive (plus a few other things).

Anecdotally, I see a lot of people that could easily be classified as “damaged goods”. It sounds like a judgmental term in some ways. But it conveys a potent message.

Carrying burdens that remain unresolved for years and years has a flow effect that comes out in antisocial behavior and/or profound loneliness. You cannot wipe that away with a wave of the hand. Nor should you. Because when bad stuff happens it’s good to work it out how to resolve it for yourself.

You can see the hallmarks of damage in people who keep going out (over and over again) with partners demonstrating the same behavioral problems.

Abusiveness, substance misuse, bullying, and other failure behaviors manifest in every selection. Yet, for the hurting person, it’s beyond them, as the veil of deep-seated pain blinds them to identifying the pattern.

Years ago, I had a steady stream  of “taking types” flow through my life. It was almost as if I had a flashing light on my head declaring, “Come to me and burden me with your pain. But don’t feel obligation to deal with it.”

Eventually, I learned to challenge and encourage people caught in pity to use their ability to grow from their situation. Suddenly, the flashing light switched off and those who refused to own their own problems cleared off.

Some might perceive this as cruel or hard-hearted. While, I regard it as respecting people enough not to feed a victim mentality.

This deserves a lot more than can be said here. So I recommend you read the book I lovingly wrote about finding happiness, based on what you are living right now, and go from there.

Damaged goods or not, we are all people: precious, frail, yet packed with powerful potential. If we grasp the capacity we have today, then life will richer, deeper, and more satisfying than we even conceive.

Family Is All Relative

Feeling Abused

Are You Strong Enough?

 

 

Feegs

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