As I was searching GoodReads for some interesting quotes, I came across this one by Robert Anthony: "Most people would rather be miserable than risk being happy." Most people say they would rather be happy than not, but is that really true? If people really wanted to be happy, couldn't they just choose to be happy? After all, happiness is a state of mind. It is within you. It is always, no matter what the situation, an option. But so often people forget that they can just be happy. They forget that they don't have wait for happiness to come to them. Happiness is already here.
Why are some people so scared of being happy? Why are some people so certain that miserableness is what life has in store for them? I'm sure there are many reasons why people fear happiness, but here are a few that I thought up. See if any of them are you...
- You think you don't deserve to have happiness in your life.
- You are used to being unhappy and you are afraid of change.
- You are surrounded by unhappy people, making it seem normal.
- You have been labeled as an unhappy person so you stay that way.
- You don't want to put in the effort it takes to be happy.
- You think happiness is in someway uncool or stupid.
- You are scared if you are happy, it will be taken away from you.
Are any of these you? I can say with certainty that I have (and possibly still do) fall into a few of these categories. For most of my life, I have been scared of happiness. I have been afraid for a number of reasons: (1) I always felt like happiness could be taken away; I didn't realize that it was up to me and that it was within me;(2) I got used to being unhappy, to being called "Eeyore," and to being the grumpy one of the group that everyone else felt like they had to accommodate; now I know that this only hurt me and only encouraged brat-like and spoiled behavior that made me even more unhappy; (3) I thought happiness was stupid, boring, and something only people with no creativity possessed; this notion, i now know, is absurd, and I firmly believe that people can be interesting, creative, and deep and still be happy; (4) I surrounded myself with people who were unhappy and we fed off of each other; I used to think this was entertaining and I got jolts of energy from negative energy, but it is nothing compared to being surrounded by positive, happy people who encourage and support me; and, sadly, (5) I was lazy and happiness takes effort; now I'm working hard to be positive with the help of my blog, books, and the power of my own mind.
To be completely honest, part of me is still scared of being completely happy. There is a little Negative Nancy in the back of my brain that keeps calling out to me, encouraging me to spend time in the old, familiar, negative place I used to hang out. I try my best not to go back there, but it's comfortable and, in spite of all my recent efforts, I'm still used to looking at the world through a negative lens. Happiness takes effort and, what some people might not realize, is it also takes courage. It's not easy to be happy and positive when everyone around you is complaining. It's not easy to see the bright side of things when your world feels like it's falling apart. But, when it's all said and done, I am much, much happier now that I am working on being positive than I ever have been. I just have to keep reminding myself to be brave, to have the courage to be happy.