Education

Do people confuse a happy life with a life absent of sadness?

I’ve been wondering something and maybe you can help me out.

Do people confuse a happy life with a life absent of sadness?

Are we living in pursuit of happiness, or in the pursuit to avoid bad days?

Or both?

One pursuit can be very fruitful. The other pursuit is impossible.

Life without bad days doesn’t exist. Would we even really want it to exist?

Let’s liken it to running.

Running on flat, smooth surfaces can sound ideal.

It is awesome at first as you practically fly through the air.

But, it gets really boring after awhile.

It starts to hurt, and you find yourself longing for an uphill climb, followed by the jubilation of the less strenuous descent.

Life without the downs would be the same:  boring, lackluster, and, ultimately, painful for no good reason.

If we accept that sadness will exist in our lives and that we will have bad days, maybe then we would wrap our arms around those bad feelings. Maybe we would allow them to wash over us. Maybe then we wouldn’t be ashamed of them and instead embrace them.

I wonder something else. Something that scares me.

I wonder if we are teaching our children that being sad is bad and should be avoided. Are we teaching them that we shouldn’t have bad days?

Or.

Are we teaching our children that bad days happen. They will ALWAYS happen. That billionaires and perfect famous people have bad days. That people who love their lives and love their jobs have bad days.

Are we teaching them that bad days cannot be avoided? They should be embraced as a beautiful part of our lives? That the climb of a bad day helps us recognize the jubilant descent of a good day?

I recognize that I am slow on the take sometimes. Maybe this is just a quandary in my own head. Tell me, do you allow yourself to have a bad day?

Do you think we are in pursuit of happiness, or are we in pursuit of avoiding sadness? Do you agree that they are two very different things?

Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.

-Khalil Gibran

Mama said there’ll be days like this

There’ll be days like this, my mama said

-The Shirelles

Image source HERE

3 thoughts on “Do people confuse a happy life with a life absent of sadness?”

  1. Love these questions! “Are we teaching them that bad days cannot be avoided? They should be embraced as a beautiful part of our lives? That the climb of a bad day helps us recognize the jubilant decent of a good day?”

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  2. I get scared on bad days due to a history of depression but I think I’m getting better at accepting and allowing them. I hope I’m teaching my kids that life isn’t perfect – ie apologise when I’m having a bad day

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  3. Allyson, this was a beautiful post and so timely for me! My #oneword for this year is ‘happiness’ which means I’ve been trying to dig deeper into this common pursuit. I’m a big fan of Brene Brown and she talks a lot about fear and accepting pain and discomfort and gaining power from it to rise above it. I also am learning that happiness is not a constant state of being or something to strive for, yet something we make for ourselves in the small moments of life. I think about how it’s taken me 40+ years to arrive at this understanding and how my boys will have to arrive at it themselves, at their own time. I like how you frame how we might model and ‘teach’ this, or not, to our children…good things to think about!

    Like

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