This is a happiness blog. Clearly. So I write about happy stuff — ways to get happy, what happiness means, the scientific basis for a happy life, etc. I keep my attention on the good and the optimistic and the joyful, because this world needs more of that. SO MUCH MORE OF THAT.
And though everything I write here is true, there are things I don’t say. I don’t say that sometimes I feel like a failure; that there are days I struggle to get out of bed; that I fall prey to the whims of disordered eating.
I don’t say these things for a lot of reasons.
But I’m saying these things now. Because image-crafting is exhausting, and I want no part of it.
I don’t want to hide. I don’t want to cower in shame or fear. I want to be honest and forthright and crack open my heart so the world can see what’s inside. I want to be brave and unafraid.
Learning to love ourselves through falls and failures is a spiritually advanced endeavor. And when you’ve lived with a lifetime of self-loathing and shame, it takes time. A long time. Like any other difficult skill, self-love takes oodles and oodles of practice. I’m still practicing, and sometimes, I fail spectacularly.
Have I “beaten” depression? I’m not sure you ever do, not in a final/forever way. I think you take three steps forward, one step back. I think falling back into negative thought patterns is always a risk. I think sensitivity is forever, and the world can be a painful place.
I still have dark, miserable moments. I still have times when I struggle to follow my own advice or do the things I KNOW will make me feel better. I still indulge ugly thoughts that I know aren’t true.
But I believe in the power of change and optimism and evolution. I believe in self-empowerment and growth. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. I know that we can have happier, more joyful lives, and I know that the journey is worth it, even with all its potholes and mud pits and torture chambers. I believe in happiness, and it’s my mission to help others believe in it, too.
Have I found happy? Yes. But I believe it’s a journey, not a destination.
This post is a reminder to me and to you that falling isn’t failure. Being fallible is who we are. Humans are inherently imperfect, so why hide it? It’s our quirks and missteps that connect us. And connecting with each other is what this wild ride is all about. <3