Posted by: syncopated1 | April 2, 2011

Chapter 5: On Sadness and Other Emotions

Being happy is an active choice, we must choose this each and every day, and work at it. But it is naive to think we can be 100% happy, 100% of the time. While I am extremely happy right now, I know that it wasn’t all that long ago when I was downright miserable. And I imagine before I plan on it, or realize it, I will find myself unhappy again. So it goes.

As important it is to be practical in our pursuit of happiness, it is just as important to remember that we shouldn’t be deliberately happy at the expense of our other emotions. People weren’t meant to be mono-emotic if you will. We were given a broad range of ways to express ourselves and we should.

When I was a teenager I went through a phase where I thought it was a fantastic idea to be stoic. All the time. I chose not to express any emotion; it was simple really, if I didn’t show any feeling then it became easier to fool myself into thinking that I wasn’t actually feeling, and then I simply couldn’t be sad or unhappy or hurt. So I figured I was happy, happy enough anyway. I guess. Perhaps. Maybe?

No.

What I wasn’t aware of, until much later was that I was driving everyone around me absolutely bonkers because I was being so unreachable. I don’t remember when or what caused me to shift out of that god-forsaken period of my life (we laugh about it now), but looking back I can definitely say there is no happiness to be had in not letting yourself feel anything. Or, I should say, there is no happiness in feeling but not expressing. It’s a lot like screaming with a pillow over your face: you’re still vocalizing just as hard as you can, but it’s all muffled and can’t get out so it only adds the frustration of not being properly heard on top of that. It sucks.

By that same token I have now found great release and relief from being a fully expressive person. When I am sad, I allow myself to cry. When I am angry, I either seethe by myself or I let the object of my anger have it and get it all out. This is, I’m sure, not a surprise to anyone, but letting yourself ride the emotion (whatever it may be) to it’s completion is cathartic to say the least. Don’t get carried away though, quite often (and I am guilty of this from time to time) people decide that riding out sadness or anger or melancholy, or any other emotion, isn’t quite enough, and feel the need to draw it out and milk it for all it’s worth. This doesn’t help anyone, you feel like crap longer and end up making other people around you feel like crap too. So just feel what you feel and be done with it, live in the moment but don’t linger in the shitty ones.

This piece is not necessarily my best work, the ideas here are important, but are still jumbled in my mind. I will perhaps come back in rework this later. The point is though, feel my friends! Plain and simple. And keep your feelings plain and simple; it clears your mind, unburdens your heart, and allows you to be free and open to not only feel happy but also to be free and open to share in other people’s feelings and emotions as they need to express them.

And finally, life isn’t always sunshine and roses, but when it isn’t allows you to appreciate when it is. If you let it.

 

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