Is Happiness a Choice?

Charlie_BrownYou can always be happy if you want to. You just have to choose that the glass is half full instead of half empty. You only have to think positive.  Be optimisitic, and all will be okay….

Search the internet, and you will find uncountable sites with affirmations that promise to make you a happier person and guide you to an optimistic way of life. It seems to be the newest philosophy of our times.

But is it really true that we are the sole architects of our life? That happiness is just a choice, that it comes from mere positive thinking and an optimistic point of view? That we can even mend depression on our own if we really want to? Or is there some phantasy of omnipotence involved?

And does it make me a traitor that I even dare to ask this question?

Now, before you jump on me in outrage let me say that I do believe in the power of optimism and positive thoughts. I’m sure you won’t get anywhere unless you can picture yourself reaching your goals. I also know out of experience how will (and persistence) can move a mountain. And that life gets a little easier if you always try to see the light, no matter how much darkness surrounds it.

But no light exists without darkness.
So, can it be wrong not to always be happy?

I think we have a right to our depressed moments.

There, I said it, the unthinkable, utterly frightening thing.
But hey, just imagine for a few moments we all were happy all the time…

Right. Then all we are is people missing a part of our emotions, part of what makes us human.  Ain’t that a little more frightening than being a tad sad every now and then?

And what about external circumstances such as the death of a loved one or getting your heart badly broken? If we’re not allowed to cry over the blows life strikes us with how are we supposed to mourn enough to finally be able to let go?

Apart from all that isn’t it cruel to tell someone who is sad or even clinically depressed that it’s all of his making? As if it’s all about pulling himself together, changing his mind and smile it all away?

Isn’t it putting the blame on this poor soul by saying „look, it’s all your fault that you are so unhappy right now“?



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