June 29, 2018

A New Mantra for Authentic Happiness.


Zippo. Marshmallows.

There are times when I feel like torching the entire self-help section of the bookstore. And while all of those Law of Attraction books are reduced to carbon, I’ll delete everyone on Facebook who dares to post those life-is-great, cheery memes about how happy we should all be feeling.

This new age, nonsensical horsesh*t is piled so high, I sometimes need a periscope just to see past it. Maybe there’s so much sadness in the world because we’re constantly indoctrinated with concepts which tell us that it’s not okay to be sad.

And just maybe, the imposed denial of the sadness we actually feel will result in a compounding of sadness which will haunt us even further. However, there is one thing from the new age movement which is certainly true: what you resist, persists.

A new mantra might be: “Stop resisting the sadness.”

And only then, if we allow ourselves to acknowledge the sadness, truly acknowledge it and welcome it home, without trying to bury it under layers of pie-in-the-sky lies, we’d be able to transcend it more naturally.

I wonder how much pressure those Facebook memes must put on some people. I’m sure they feel like sailors on a doomed submarine. Just last night I talked to a woman whose daughter ran away from home and another woman whose daughter died from brain cancer. Almost every day I speak to someone who suffers with different degrees of awfulness.

As for me, I’m no stranger to darkness. No matter how bright and beautiful it is outside, and no matter how much I have to be grateful for, my mind sometimes senses this existence of ours through a filter of subtle gloom. It’s almost like I wordlessly say to myself, “Yes, all is well today, for me, but what about the others who are suffering?” And then I start feeling sad, because I know better than to not allow myself to feel sad.

So, let’s stop kidding ourselves. Life, in all of its splendor, is simultaneously filled with horror.

And for those of us who have experienced true horror, maybe we need to let ourselves off the hook. Let ourselves off the hook when we’re made to feel weak for not being able to feel happy after using techniques taught in so-called self-help books and no-help memes.

And then, and only then, we can start to count our blessings. But authentically so.

Because we will find blessings in life’s splendor if we look for them. Regardless of the horrors. And probably, we will find them right under our noses.

Thank you my loved ones, those I know and don’t, for taking the time to be with me through these words,

~ gb

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Gabe Berman

author: Gabe Berman

Image: Shan Sheehan/Flickr

Editor: Lieselle Davidson