Persistence – Feigning Happiness

It’s hard to be happy when your situation is not an advantageous one. But, I feel that it’s even harder to pretend being happy – even if your situation isn’t necessarily a bad one. It’s December and I should be moving on to the next topic, but ironic as it sounds, I’m feeling stubborn about moving on and felt it right to release another post on persistence. This time, covering the subject of happiness.

Feigning happiness is a tough act to keep up on a consistent basis. Growing up, I had a hard time dealing with the fact that my father had a debilitating illness, and I didn’t want people to know it either. Even my closest of friends stayed in the dark. And when asked what might be wrong with my dad, I came up with an original story to keep the secret hidden. Faking it seemed easier and for a time, that seemed to make the most sense. But, as I’m saying, it worked for a time. 

The problem with putting up a mask is that it’s reliant on the reactions of others. If someone asks you, “how are you doing?” and your conditioned response is always “Great!” then the person asking has no reason to dig any deeper – even if what you’re really saying is, “I’m really struggling, but I don’t know how to say it. Please keep asking.”

I used to be in the thinking that this was a good way to keep people around me. That I was doing other people a service so as to not cause any bad vibes, but I’ve found this to actually be the opposite. A mask is a selfish thing because ultimately, the mask belongs to me. It’s not something people hand over when they see me; it’s something I can put up when I want to. But, in that same breath, it’s something I can let build up if I allow others the right to define how that mask will look.

That’s why feelings aren’t a good indicator of how you are doing. One day you could be up; another you could be down. And I know some people who think, or have thought, that this is a bad thing – me, included. That every day, every hour, every minute – they need to be at the utmost level of their happy zone. But, that’s just not realistic and it’s not healthy either. Peace of mind should be a better goal than 24-hour happiness. That’s where all the joy comes in and joy has no masks.

I find this to be another of life’s great battles, but it’s certainly worth it. When I pray – something I highly encourage – I pray for peace of mind before I pray for happiness. A mind at rest can hear the clearest of voice’s and it’s something I want to become better at daily.

Which, once again, is another challenge in life worth being persistent about.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Here’s to peace of mind! It’s essential for being.

  2. Well said!

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