Thursday 20 March 2014

Happy International Realness Day

Today is the first day of spring, International Happiness Day, and my birthday, so I guess I should be happy. As a matter of fact, I am, but the expectation that we should be happy on any particular day (our birthday, Christmas, a friend’s wedding, International Happiness Day) denies our right to feel - and crucially to express - whatever we happen to be experiencing in the moment.

I tweeted earlier today that, for me, happiness isn't about being smiley and "happy happy" all the time. It's about being genuine, and connecting with people. Maybe what I’m thinking of isn’t “happiness” at all, because being genuine and connecting can and frequently does cover a wide gamut of emotions and experiences, not all of which are cosy or easy. Maybe it’s “real-ness”. It is what happens when we allow ourselves and each other to experience the moment (this moment, this today moment). Whatever you want to call it, it is what I find most valuable and rewarding in life.

Fran sometimes wonders why I’m always so pleased to see her, even when she is depressed or fatigued or otherwise “not good company”. I prefer when she is stable and able to enjoy life, but the value and reward I find in our time together isn’t dependent on her health or mood. It comes from us sharing whatever is happening in our lives openly and honestly as friends. And, of course, it cuts both ways. Occasionally (whisper it), it is me who is pissed off or angry or otherwise “not good company”.

So let’s allow ourselves and each other to experience and share whatever we are feeling. I think we will all be a lot happier as a result.

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