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It’s My Life and I’ll Cry If I Want To

There’s no shortage of blogs that will give you the scoop on the “Top 12 Things Happy People Do” or expose the “10 Scientifically Proven Ways To Be Incredibly Happy.” You can join Pharrell Williams and clap along, but in truth, you’re being sold a bill of goods.

Why? Because the concept of “happiness,” as defined by society, is an absolute illusion.

When you pursue an elusive idea of what “happiness” is you actually create the opposite effect. Blindly chasing contentment with a butterfly net is merely a distraction from accessing your true spirit and experiencing the gifts that honest connection brings. When you’re in pursuit of happiness, you’re fruitlessly shadowing a winged myth that usually lands on your shoulder when you’re least intent on catching it.

We’re not here just to be happy. We’re here to experience the full spectrum of human emotion, which means being open to feeling things we don’t necessarily want to feel. However, the more we embrace who we are as we are, the more we begin to tap into something sustainable. The frenetic version of joy that treats an emotional state like a commodity to be acquired leads to nothing but misery. Our time is better-spent cultivating stillness and inner peace, so we can gracefully navigate life, no matter what it throws in our path.

If your objective is to be content at all times, I’m sorry to inform you that you are living a lie. Life isn’t always going to make you feel good, so there’s no need to feel the pressure to be happy all the time. Not existing in a constant state of bliss doesn’t make you wrong. It makes you human.

Life isn’t about the peaks and valleys. It’s about finding a place in the middle where everything is experienced with equanimity. Happiness is a byproduct of life, not life itself. It can only be born from feeling and loving every emotion you have. So whether you cry from laughter or laugh through your tears, the key is to feel it all.