being happy

Gah! I hate this topic. but here we are.

I see lots of super simplified posts about managing our feelings (Happiness is a feeling right?) Ghandi once said, “Nobody can hurt me without my permission” (this was on a recent FB post I read) and it irritated me. (Not the intention of the person posting, but the unintended outcome of taking complex things and simplifying them into an easy statement)

I mean I WANT it to be true. How nice would it be if I had ultimate control over my emotions? Never needing to feel a bad feeling (aka hurt)?

I think we want to gloss over bad emotions, whitewash our lives. As if not having bad emotions (should I say negative or unpleasant emotions?) means we are ‘successful’. We don’t want to admit failure or mistakes. Lapses in judgement. Or that we trusted someone who let us down.

That is all just silly. People fail each other all the time. It’s not my fault if you are mean to me. It’s my fault if I can stop it and don’t. (by distancing myself, calling the police, having a talk with said hurtful person… whatever is required) But even then, sometimes, you are just a victim and getting away from hurt isn’t possible.

And sometimes recovering from hurt is hard and takes a long time.

I don’t want to hold on to it. I need to let old hurts go and not fester. That’s important. But then, sometimes, you smell something or see something or remember something and that old hurt feels new again. So, again. I let go. That’s all.

To think that our lives should not be marked by pain, hurt and suffering is foolish. Unrealistic at best. I can’t WILL things to not hurt. But I CAN feel what I am feeling, decide if I like it or not and then make decisions to help me feel better feelings.

It’s because I am ok with this process. Because I get that life hurts sometimes. It’s because of these things, I think, that I am happy. The phrase “it’s all good” takes on new meaning. I can learn from everything. I can be happy that I understand my feelings and they are appropriate. I can make decisions based on what I want and what I don’t want. That makes me happy.

It’s when I ignore what my insides are telling me that I lose happiness. Not the presence of hurt.


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