We’ve been whispering sweet nothings to ourselves too often. Things like “nothing is more beautiful than a girl who smiles” and “strength is beauty.” We’ve been telling ourselves things like this for years, since we were children, because everyone always told us the same thing.
I’ve told many people this, too, without a thought or a worry.
“Chin up. Smile.”
That’s all well and good, because of course, nobody ever meant any harm by saying that, but I’ve come to learn that it’s not the way you need to live all the time.
Let’s be honest – it’s impossible to maintain a constant state of happiness. It fluctuates. Happiness comes and goes as it pleases. Sometimes it stays awhile, and sometimes, it takes awhile to come back. Often, it feels like happiness has a mind of its own.
The state of eternal happiness and joy that I live in resonates within me as bliss (or something like it). See, even when I’m not actively happy, even when I’m down, or hurt, there’s still a warm bliss that lives within me.
Sometimes a smile does nothing but conceal what you’re really feeling, so there’s no need to force away those important feelings just for the sake of looking like you have it all together.
None of us have it all together all the time. That’s perfectly fine and even helpful. We are human, and our “flaws” should not take away from our divinity or wholeness
A smile and a nod is not enough to erase pain, and in a time of despair, a smile which is forced is also not helpful.
It is more than necessary for us to delve into ourselves and feel our emotions so viscerally that we can hear them hum in our ears and can feel the vibrations of them within our soul. We should be able to see them even when our eyes are closed.
They want to speak to us. We need to listen.
We are allowed to feel things other than happiness, is what I’m really getting at. As a matter of fact, discomfort is necessary for change, growth, and movement. And as we well know, movement is life.
The emotions and struggles that we conclude as “negative” are often thrust away into a void of things we should steer clear of – when really, we should embrace those things with open arms. Here’s why.
1. Recognize that the “negative” things you are feeling might not be negative at all – that’s just how you associate them. These emotions are not something to run from. They are inevitable, just like problems and struggle. These are all opportunities to change your life for the better and should be looked at as such.
When you tell someone you’re feeling down, I bet they’ll apologize. When they apologize to me, I always say, “No, don’t be sorry, I feel good” and they’ll say “No, I meant I wish you felt better than that,” and I’ll say, “No, there is no better than how I feel right now.” I don’t think I’ve met a single person who understands it, and that’s because it’s a little complicated – it’s not how we’re raised to think. When you see the core of your emotions, without judgement or concern, just attention, you will have happiness even when you are not. This is for the simple fact that you can feel what’s wired inside of you, and use it to make your life even better than it was.
Of course, in all reality, happiness will always prevail as the emotion that feel the best and is the most rewarding, but the recognition of melancholy as a state of beauty has increased my overall happiness and my positivity immensely. It has also helped me take control of the reigns of my life and say no to things that will hurt or drain me.
2. You will have problems wherever you go, which may cause you some distress. Ask yourself why you’re feeling what you are – and if you’re in a position where you don’t mind these feelings being the side-effects. If your “negative” feelings or stressful situations are a side effect of something you do not want (i.e. pursuing a college degree you know won’t get you a good job/isn’t what you want to do for the rest of your life), then that’s when you know to make a change. However, it’s important to remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side – it’s green where you water it, and problems, struggles and negative emotions will follow you everywhere. Figure out if you’re problems are ones you genuinely are ok with dealing with or not. This is where you will find your bliss.
3. You can use you’re “negative” emotions to see what needs to change in your life to make you happier. Honestly, I think it’s important to find happiness and bliss wherever you are – it should be internal, not external – but there are certain external factors that can change how you feel inside. If you’re feeling particularly unhappy or drained over and over and over again, at the same type of situation – maybe that’s the world telling you to change your circumstances. If you repeatedly find yourself unhappy in your city – or bored, unchallenged, or held back – then go ahead, take the leap, and leave. If you’re feeling trapped or depressed or (again) held back in your relationship – then go ahead and leave. When you feel certain types of ways – it’s important to realize that you have the power to change whatever is causing this emotion.
4. Remember that you are not a victim. You have every right to do whatever it is that you want with your life, and nothing should be able to stand in your way. Easy for me to say, right? Since I’m not emotionally involved in your life and being emotionally involved adds plenty of kaleidoscope-esque dimensions to huge life decisions such as leaving a relationship or a city. The most important thing is to know that you have complete and utter control of your life – and the only other people who have that same type of control over you, only have it because you keep giving them permission.
So I urge you to take away the negative associations you have with your emotions and I to feel them within the very depths of yourself so you can change whatever you need to, to make your life better. Often, I bet you’ll find that the thing you need to change is within – not without.
I dare you to immerse yourself in your emotions without drowning in them or letting them consume you.
At the end of the day, you are you, and you are not defined by how you feel but by how you handle how you feel. It goes like this always, for internal struggles and external struggles – and although you may not have control over what exactly you feel, you have 100% control of how you choose respond to it.
You are not a victim. You are in control of your own life and can take it by the horns any time you choose. You do not have to let others decide your fate.
And lastly, you can use all of this to help you – not hurt you.
So let’s get started, shall we?