Not everyone wants to be happy – up until very recently this is a concept that I couldn’t wrap my head around. I can and have racked up arguments and theories about limiting beliefs settled in the subconscious that sabotage happiness at every turn or holding on too tightly to past heartbreaks, the list goes on, but the thought of people (I know and love) intentionally shirking happiness broke my heart a little. You may not know this about me, but I err on the side of happiness communist. Everyone needs to be happy, happy, happy dammit! So this idea that there are people that were legitimately unconcerned with being happy didn’t sit will with me. At all. Surely, they don’t want to be sad. Surely, they mean that they want to be their own versions of happy and what they’re actually unconcerned with is fitting that into societies little box. Happiness, whatever meaning you assign to it, is THE dream. Right?
Not for everyone. Some crave a simplicity that happiness doesn’t always offer.
Pain and happiness, it’s an interesting relationship. My happiest moments were born of some pretty wretched heartbreak. Moreover, in the spirit of the old adage “You cannot know true joy until you know true pain” those heartbreaks made happiness all the more sweet. Everyone has their own version of checking out or numbing themselves for a while, especially after a deep pain, but that isn’t where you want to make your home.
I suppose I understand the appeal, with low expectations every surprise is a pleasant one. No chance of broken hearts or regret or being abandoned. It seems almost like being in constant limbo – just going through the motions everyday. Maybe it’s how I was raised or maybe the acceptance is just built into my bones, but I’ve always had a silent understanding that pain and happiness are package deal and that the road to true joy is often sweaty, sometimes tricky, and always includes a unexpected few pit stops. Somewhere along the way I took it for granted that people would realize and embrace these things too.
We somehow get our wires crossed – commercials, movies, music, magazines, self-help books all make it sound SO easy. Just be happy. See? Easy! And that’s what it really comes down to (at least for the people I’ve talked to about this). It’s easier to hold people at arm’s length, to stay safe and warm at home, to keep everything clean and compartmentalized. Being happy should be easy and clean and simple, but we know all too well that sometimes it just isn’t. Happiness can get a little messy and chaotic, lines blur, sometimes people are hurt unintentionally.
I’ve written quite a few be happy posts because it lights my soul up when the world smiles with me, but alas it’s not up to me to judge what gives someone peace of mind, heaven knows I let my divine freak flag fly high and I believe in people rocking what’s true to them. It really is none of my business. Ultimately for me, there isn’t any question that I would choose joy of ease every time – living in limbo has never been (and will never be) one of my long term goals.
I’ve never chosen anything just because it’s easy. I’m hard-headed and all balls to the wall. Just ask my parents.