hushing happiness, the subdued voice of bliss
every day I converse with people about their relationship to happiness.
I assume you do too.
we talk about what we want, what's missing, share stories and experiences, make decisions about what to do, wear, and eat, complain about the weather, compliment each other, blame each other, want things, let go of things - all connected to this desire to feel good.
it's a hot topic, the pursuit of happiness.
and the funny thing is, we all act like we don't know where to find it.
so here we are on a rainy sunday afternoon, writing, drawing, wearing pjs, drinking coffee - just doing the simple things that bring us joy. it's a great day, I am deep in the work flow this week and loving life. but if someone asked me 'hey, how are you doing' it might not seem like that is so. or even close.
you see, I sometimes do this thing, and I am starting to see it in common conversation more and more. as soon as I start to say out loud that, yes, I am happy, I am really great, I feel like I have never had so much success in my life, my creativity is on fire, I have stories and wisdom to share with others, people fully support me, I get paid to do what I love - I start to shove it all back down my throat.
it's like the voldemort of emotions - happiness, she who shall not be named.
if someone asks you how you are doing, what is your response? I typically hear some variation of ‘I’m good...but' or ‘I’m fine?’ in a voice that trails off into uncertainty or doubt. there may even be a complaint or two about what could be going better. some of us respond from the 'my life is messy AF' inner gremlin because that is more relatable than some crazy person who claims they have it all together. right?
it has become more comfortable for us to mute our happiness than to speak our truth.
and it is this hushed happiness that has us shying away from even allowing joy in our lives. we downplay what is going well because happiness is power, and power is scary to others. 'don't be a threat,' the mind says, but every time we downplay our joy, we confuse the signals in our brain. our neurons are smiling, but our mouth short circuits them. burying our happiness is numbing our senses and keeping us small. it allows us to stay in pursuit and unfulfilled, but who wants to play that game anymore?
are you happy? say so. whenever you feel it. as often as you can.
weekly mantra: admit to your contentment so it can grow