by Daniel Nkado
I always hear people saying that happiness is a choice.
I call this statement bullsh*t.
First, happiness is not a choice, it is an emotion.
We cannot control our emotions, we can only control how we show it.
If you are angry, for instance, you can choose to go somewhere quiet and be by yourself than start yelling and throwing things.
Your choice of action [attitude] in response to an emotion is not an evidence that the emotion is or is not there.
I bet you had happiness been a choice, everyone would choose it. Everyone would be happy all the time.
In the midst of all the terrorism, genocide, poverty, abuse, or just run-of-the-mill crushing disappointment in life, nobody will as much as care because they can always choose to “overlook everything and just be happy.”
The people who say that happiness is a choice may be feeling happy and try to shame everyone else into feeling it too.
You cannot force yourself to feel a way you do not feel.
Sure, we’d all like to feel happy, but we just don’t a lot of the time.
Sometimes we’re sad, sometimes we’re bored, sometimes we’re angry – we have a range of emotions. Life happens, and emotions follow shortly thereafter. We’re all doing the best we can with what we have.
There’s nothing wrong with us if we don’t feel happy all of the time. There might be something wrong if we do feel happy all of the time though, because that isn’t authentic.
Even those with seemingly perfect lives aren’t robots. They’re human like everyone else, and go through cycles like the rest of us.
I think it’s ridiculous when people post so-called “inspirational” quotes on Facebook like, “For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
Statements like this seem to infer that people can continually choose happiness over sadness, but the truth is emotions cannot be controlled in that way.
Imagine this: Someone has just suffered a terrible loss of a loving member of their family or a beloved pet or someone has been told they have a life-threatening disease; another person has great financial problems and are watching their house and other possessions being taken away from them.
Do you think they can (or should) just choose happiness over sadness?
The “negative” emotions have just as much merit as the positive emotions do.
Although people just don’t like it as much when you are going through “negative” emotions, so they try to get you to suppress them in the name of helping.
But in reality they’re not actually helping.
If they were helping, they would urge you to get it all out, to express yourself, to really own each and every one of your feelings until those feelings leave you – because the only way to make any uncomfortable thing go away is to embrace it fully.
Other people also like to seem wise pretty often, so they throw unhelpful BS at you to try to convince you that happiness is a choice.
So not only are they lying to themselves, but they’re also feeding their own ego by pretending they know better than you do. That’s a hell of a lot worse than you just feeling sad and minding your own business.
We all have our own unique perspective on the world. Some of us know things and have seen things that others have not.
Some of us have been through things that other people can’t imagine. So telling someone that happiness is a choice is not only false, it also insults another person’s life experience as a whole.
People can post whatever they want – but they should never make the mistake of thinking they know more about life than anybody else, or tell someone else how they’re supposed to feel.
That’s just not their job. Real wisdom is accepting people as they are – complex feelings and all.
In fact, all our emotions are necessary in the scheme of our lives. We can try to manage them in a way so they will not overwhelm us, but we certainly cannot control them and nor should we keep fighting to overlook them.
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