Every day, our eyes and ears are filled with how life should be.
It’s coming at us in street signs, TVs, computers, magazines, phones; any and every device and media surrounding us. Consumption of these stories is our favorite pastime.
We can’t escape it and we don’t want to, but it’s worrisome, how alike many of these messages are. Certain kinds of people are glorified while others are ignored altogether.
Our brains are trained to hope for an elusive happy life that looks perfect on the outside, but on closer inspection appears simplistic and empty.
Maybe that part hasn’t changed much in the past 50 years or so. Maybe we’ve always been exposed to narrow ideals, and they might even be more diverse now than before. But our generation consumes huge amounts of stories every day, more than anyone ever has.
It’s dangerous to let too many fantasies into our heads.
We start to believe that the story of our lives should go a certain way, that there should be a happy ending, which is picture perfect. In order to be heroes/heroines, we should be untainted, innocent, flawless. So not only do we lose faith in ourselves, we lose the ability to recognize the happiness that’s right in front of us.
It’s time we looked for the real stories of real, honest people, the messy, the dirty, the difficult, the complicated.
It’s time we created our own happiness.
There are things we can control and things we can’t. Realizing that we have control over how we react to things and ultimately, our own happiness, is true empowerment.
True power is being happy when, according to the stories you’re told, you shouldn’t be.
It’s shrugging, brushing yourself off and moving on, even when your palms are still bleeding from the fall. It’s being stuck in an awful situation and not letting it get to you. It’s disappointment that you just lost out on the biggest opportunity in your life, and still choosing happiness because after all, there will be others.
- It’s laughing at yourself before anyone else has the chance to.
- It’s not flinching when someone tries their best to hurt you.
- It’s not caring about looking cool.
- It’s painting your own mental pictures of what life should look like.
- It’s hanging out with anyone you like.
- It’s forgiving the asshole who wronged you, for your own peace of mind.
- It’s revealing your true self because you have nothing to be ashamed of.
- It’s not revealing your true self to people who don’t deserve to know.
What if we found happiness in failure? In being told “no”? What if we found happiness in letting go, going with the flow, not trying to force anything? What if happiness wasn’t elusive at all? What if it was right here, right now, in our real messy lives?
Be happy because nothing else matters.