Updated: Jan 16, 2022
I've spent most of my life chasing after happy. Thinking that happiness was the ever elusive cure for all of my other uncomfortable emotions. Assuming that finding my own version of happy would be the end to my ongoing depression and anxiety. As if happiness was nothing more than just the eternal absence of depression and anxiety.
Spoiler alert! Happiness is an emotion, which means it comes and goes just like every other emotion. So the problem in solely pursuing happiness was that I tried to block out all of the less desirable emotions along the way. The thing is, you can't selectively block emotions. To block out emotion is to become numb and you can't numb sadness without numbing joy. It's a slippery slope.
I'm finding that the key to embracing happiness is to actually make space for all of my other emotions in the process. I can bask in the happiness when it's present, but when it inevitably passes I must also give room to the less comfortable emotions that move in to fill that space. In time, I know that they will pass as well and leave more room to let some happiness back in.
Every emotion has value in my life and provides me with necessary information. I don't want to miss out on life by only chasing "happy."
... "Being fully human is not about feeling happy, it's about feeling everything.” - Glennon Doyle