There is a growing stereotype that seems to be attaching itself to happiness. The thing is ~
We have to be flexible in our understanding of what ‘happy’ looks like.
You can be sad, and still, at your core a happy person. That doesn’t mean you’re leaping and jumping with joy all the time ~ in the event your on camera or being ‘seen’ by the world.
You can be furious at an injustice, but at your core, know that this too, shall pass ~ but first, you want to fight like hell on behalf of that thing that you believe in.
You can be unhappy all you want without anyone else telling you that you have no right to be unhappy.
You can have a moment where you totally lose your marbles while in a stressful situation, but that doesn’t mean that you are a bad person or deserving of public ridicule or humiliation … you had a bad moment ~ maybe day ~ maybe year.
You don’t have to be wealthy, physically fit, or attractive to be happy.
Heavier people ARE happy without having to change their shape to suit anyone else’s opinions. They don’t have to change their appearance so that other people can interpret their mood or personality; but that happens all the time.
The same goes for financially challenged people. We don’t have the right to treat fiscally disadvantaged people as less-than, simply because they can’t buy the $400 t-shirt or trending juice cleanse or even organic anything.
We have divided ourselves and assumption of what it is to socially accepted as happy or not that has nothing to do with our actual lives.
We monotonized happiness so that the wealthy can preach to the lesser bank account holders how to BE happy.
Walk into any organic grocery store anywhere. We teach and preach about organic foods; certain organically made, responsibly sourced product from yoga clothes to apples to dragon fruit to sushi bars ~ it’s all very expensive.
What costs $20 in one store will only cost $7 in a bigger, more generalized grocery. Single parents aren’t going to the organic stores and single income families are going to shy away.
Don’t shame them for the choices they make ~ more than that. Don’t make only crap food while also telling people to eat healthier choices. Talk about an oxymoron of a system!
Traveling also indicates a shift on consciousness ~ those who can, brag about it. But it’s expensive. The price of gas alone will pin a single income family down to a region.
We selfie our delighted incandescent joy, but when people aren’t posing or showing off our financial success, we are wondering how other people are living a happy life without the same globe trotting delirious well-lived life.
You don’t have to be boastful online to prove that you are happy ~ you don’t have to show off as much of your skin in provocative poses, or the size of your house/car/boat/travels.
You don’t even have to “prove your worth” by being publicly out there doing grand things ~ like capturing the moment you laughed the hardest or scored that winning goal (literally or figuratively).
Why do we give in to the collective peer pressure?
Because the happiness industry has created a desire which in turn, has turned us all into a need to be liked, accepted, and sameness.
We want to prove that we have the most ~ are the most ~ wear the most ~ live in the most ~ be the most ~
We are competing with nobody, yet fools to the somebodies we don’t even know.
Look at the “likes” thing we’ve done to ourselves. Talk about an epidemic of needing to be seen!
Who is that? How many likes do they have?
Perception is a real sink hole of everything humanity craves.
We crave acceptance as if we can’t accept ourselves ‘as is’.
We crave financial abundance as if modest living isn’t enough.
We crave popularity to fill the void of never fully loving ourselves so much, we HAVE to buy the books that tell us how to love ourselves.
It’s not actually a secret ~ but we all fell into that trap of thinking there is a “secret” of how to live ~ how to be.
What if ~ we all just work on our own business ~ work on our own sense of meaning, purpose, and love of self ~ allow ourselves to be amazed in our own space without having to fly off of the planet to feel fulfilled.
What if ~ as a human being who spends their lives living in simple abundance, is completely content, with everything we have as we have it without need or want for anything else.
Then, to finish off the look, we also mind our own business to not judge other people as they are doing the same thing.
I know. It’ll never fully work. Humans are funny that way. Seeking outside of themselves for the one thing they can 100% control internally.
We can choose to be happy, but know that it’s not actually normal to be happy ALL THE TIME. If you’ve never experienced sadness, or disappointment or fear, or maybe grief ~ you aren’t a complete human experience yet. If you think that you must be a certain size, or have a certain amount of friends to be successful, then you’ve never known the human experience of feeling whole.
Just as you are.
I can promise you this ~ as someone who always seeks to understand our wholeness, I know that depth and breadth of the human condition is much more authentic than only this one sided, 2-dimensional sense of selfie land.
As someone who wants to know how to paint a human face, I’d much prefer someone with some blemishes, or scars, wrinkles, or wisdom lines. Depth of character and the story on the imperfections are far more interesting than, the flawless, perfect (perceived) lovely images we carefully construct online.
I’m never interested in stereotypes. I want to know about the outliers, the off the beaten path types and the people we say are not normal.
There is no such thing as normal.
There is only perception.
If only people would mind their business and let it be. We can choose happy but more importantly, we can choose what that even means ~ trust me, it’s going to mean something different for every person.
Here’s to your quest for coming up with your own definition of happiness, gratitude, joy, curiosity, creativity ~ and the rest of the creation of a life worth living.
In peace and contentedness,
(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller