The Journey: Understanding both happy and unhappy

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By SAMANTHA BRAZIE, Special to The Paper

Paper readers, have you ever had a relationship (friendship, marriage, etc.) with someone that is never happy for more than short bursts of time? For example – they’re good when they are at the beach or with one particular person … but then when they return back to real life, they just tank. What is it that makes some people unhappy as a way of life?    

Granted, different things make different people happy. Some take pride in ‘things,’ others ‘experiences,’ etc. Although I like my ‘things’ (annual way-too-expensive birthday purse is a great example of this), I’ve been an ‘experience’ person as long as I can remember. I like to travel, spend time with friends and family, cook for an exorbitant amount of people at the holidays and sometimes just crawl into a shell for some downtime. Looking for a new car, new clothes and other purchases are something I do out of necessity, not because I enjoy it. 

Now, there can be very negative repercussions to not liking material things … like not wanting to walk around the store with your spouse when they love that kind of thing. Or coming across as a ‘Type A’ personality in relationships because you just want to boil it down to the facts and make a quick choice. So, I’m not acting like my way of being is the best way, just explaining where I’m coming from. 

What is puzzling me is – do unhappy people realize they are unhappy? Do they keep themselves that way as a punishment to themselves or do they just think that’s the way life works? To me, happiness truly comes from deep down in a place that no destination or item can get to. It comes from doing things you enjoy (could be a puzzle even), feeling interested in their activities and connected to others and feeling like what you do matters. Now, if one of those areas of life is out of whack one can understand how that would bleed over to the others. 

I’ve written a lot about mental illnesses including depression, and if that is the case, the solution is STILL under their control. That solution is counseling. Continuing to fight to get the right person that can help you make your life better and push past your barriers. But if this is not the case and you don’t like where you are – MOVE. Move on from that relationship, find some things you enjoy that are for you and not for someone else, engage in random acts of kindness, celebrate other people’s good news. Do SOMETHING to better your situation because whether you realize it or not, your ‘mood’ affects everyone around you – including and especially the ones you love. 

Trust me, I remind myself of this every single morning when I wake up and sometimes in and out of the day as things fly my way that can easily weigh me down. We must keep fighting every single day for the best life for ourselves and our loved ones. I hope you agree with me that in this Journey, that’s the only acceptable choice. 

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” – Denis Waitley

Questions? Comments?  Email me at [email protected].

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