I woke up this morning in a bit of a rubbish mood, well….not exactly rubbish, but definitely not in the state of mind that I usually would. I felt a bit fed up, cold and like I hadn’t slept properly. Now, after meditating and moving around, a feel like I’m getting back to my old self again, but I might get a few ‘meh’ moments during the day.
I currently reading The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living, by Russ Harris, not because I’m particularly unhappy at the moment, but because I’ve heard lots of people talk about it and I felt like I had to see what all the fuss was about. I haven’t even finished the book yet, but felt inspired to write to you all after reading the first few sections. I thought this was going to be yet another happiness book, full of fluff and ‘get on with it’ stuff, but this book is really refreshing in its approach.
I was a really grumpy teenager. I mean, I was never rude to anyone or shouting at people, but I was a hormonal, brooding teenager, as many of us were. I couldn’t figure out why the world had to work in a certain way and why it felt like everyone was against me. Obviously, with the power of hindsight and a few more years under my belt, I began to see this differently, as a natural transitional period, but I used to hate it when people told me to cheer up. Cheering up was not going to make me feel better- maybe for a few minutes, but it wasn’t going to be a permanent switch-flick.
Fast forward to now, and I’m one of those people who’s generally content and flowing through life with ease, but I do have bumps in the road and I need time away from people to be on my own. Sometimes, I’ll just feel like I’m getting in my own way a bit, over-thinking things and willing my mind to just shut down for a moment. There’s a bit of a struggle and then I’ll just ease into things.
We have a very unique view of happiness in our world. Everyone on magazine covers is smiling to within an inch of their lives and is stuck in this perfect, air-brushed happiness we all must be seen to be striving for. Happiness seems to be as easy as just buying the perfect dress or the perfect car, quitting your job and living on an island somewhere drinking water from fresh coconuts. But we all read about people who made this happen and were still frickin’ miserable when they got there. They still had the same problems and the same thinking patterns, so felt the same emotions.
Happiness is seen to be this illusive thing that one day we’ll grab, but in the mean time, we just have to get on with it. This, however, causes happiness to be more unattainable and we wind up constantly comparing ourselves to others and never stop to appreciate what we’ve got.
What if our concept of happiness is all wrong? What if we’ve already got it and the more we chase it, the more we push it away? Maybe we’re not designed to be skipping and jumping happy all of the time- we’re designed to tune in to our emotions, accept them and move through our days as best we can. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to pretend that everything’s ok and jump for joy, but we can just be ok with feeling a little bit ‘off’, accepting it and moving with it, not pushing it aside.
Maybe acceptance and gratitude are the new happinesses.
So, sometimes it’s ok to feel a bit off- I don’t know anyone who feels 100% chipper and dance-around positive the whole time. (To be honest, it’s exhausting, and pretending to be like this is even more exhausting, as you’re not being authentic to your true feelings). There is something to be said for putting a brave face on, in order to move through it and start to change some aspects of your mindset, but if today’s not the day, then tomorrow might be.
It’s ok to feel fed up.
It’s ok to feel not quite right.
It’s ok to have big dreams and to know that they’re yours, just not quite yet.
It’s ok to have the down bits, so the good bits can wash in more glorious than ever before.
It’s ok to have to put a little bit of work in to move to where you want to be.
It’s ok to feel a bit grumpy and let others know that that’s how you’re feeling today.
It’s ok to show your not-so-shiny, vulnerable, ‘down’ side
It’s ok to give yourself a flippin’ break every once in a while and not feel like you have to be Mary Poppins all the time.
It’s ok to feel your emotions, rather than push them away.
It’s ok to just be.
Love and being,