Joy is not in things; it is in us.

~ Richard Wagner ~

Despair and Happiness: Can Both Coexist?

November 7th, 2011 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 49 secs

How can I be happy?

Can you know happiness if you also know despair? In this modern packaged, right way/wrong way world, the answer would be “no.” But what if I said “yes”?

Let’s face it, much of what the positive mental attitude camp constantly tell you is compromised by greed and ego. Real life is naturally full of ups and downs. You are going to have times, seasons if you like, when life feels impossibly difficult. You might even be going through just such a patch right now.

But the “put a smile on your dial” brigade doesn’t accept that. You have to be happy. Now!

Twenty-four hour a day happiness can be yours if you obey this rule, follow this gym program, attend these award-winning seminars, and listen to these tapes. 

Putting on a brave face is a must do because nobody wants to see your weaknesses. Well that’s the message they’re offering. As if somehow, by screwing up your face into some manic grimace, you’ll force yourself into happiness. Then, and only then, will all the good things you’ve been wishing for, come to be. In the process happiness has been blended with success. So you can only succeed if you become “our lady of perpetual happiness.”

What rubbish! It’s absolute tripe. Happiness is not something you can put on. It comes from inside you. Yes, you can make yourself feel better with exercise, waving your arms about, helping others, etc. But happiness at its fundamental level is heartfelt as well as thought. It comes from living what you passionately believe in.

Beware of swindlers! The “put it on” approach to happiness is false, deceptive, and ultimately soul destroying.

True happiness is not tied to the pendulum of mood swings, fresh treats, luck, or a powerful new guru. Happiness is a by-product of living meaningfully. Doing what you believe makes the ultimate sense. Right now. Right where you are. So if you are feeling despair, then so be it. Given what’s going on in your life right now, maybe you ought to be. Feeling down is a reasonable thing, not a disease.

Of course, unhappiness is naturally repelling. So we want to get away from it. But that doesn’t mean it’s “wrong.” It’s just how you feel at a given time. Let it roll. It’s okay to feel the way you do. A full life reflects a wide range of feelings, including unhappiness too.

So be wary of people who won’t allow you to be yourself. They have an agenda and it certainly doesn’t include respecting you or recognizing your individual needs.


Comments are closed.