What Does it Mean to be Happy?
May 22, 2020
By: Kayla Law, RTC

I hear clients say they want to be happy all the time. 

Which is lovely, except it’s completely subjective. Each person has a different expectation of what happiness means to them. And much of the time happiness is a momentary experience that we want forever.

Society has us believing that being happy means we don’t feel sad or angry or pain. When in fact feeling our sadness, feeling our anger and feeling our pain allows us to open up to joy and excitement so much more. It leads us to a place of feeling alive. When we shut the non-happy feelings off (because what we’ve been taught tells us what’s ok and not ok) it stops us from feeling anything. It disconnects us from ourselves and those around us.

Fully feeling our feelings brings us all back to life. And yet we are told to be quieter, to not cry, to get over it, to move on, and to just stop it, etc. 

What we all need is someone there with us. Standing with us as we walk through the feeling. Saying, “yes it sucks, but I am here with you.” Someone there to remind us to breathe in and breathe out. Someone to remind us that “this too shall pass.”

As we all walk today’s path of uncertainty—here’s a little reminder that showing up is enough. You do not need to make it all OK for your loved ones. They do not need to make it all OK for you. Just take a deep breath and be there with them in the discomfort, in the pain, in the feelings. That’s support, that’s love, and to me that’s happiness. It’s an experience in life—a full experience feeling every single feeling. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and real with the people closest to us. It takes a lot of courage to show up in this way with ourselves and our loved ones.

This quote from Brené Brown comes to mind.

“I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.”

What does happiness mean to you?