Stop wanting to always be happy

All I want for Christmas is to stop wanting to always be happy

So often I hear people saying that they should always be happy, always perform well, and so on, and this is something about the messages that we get from everywhere is our society.

Sometimes substance abuse of any kind is a way of entering a bubble where these things seem to be all true. Or at least a bubble where we don’t feel the pain of not being able to be ‘perfect’ in all these ways.

We live in a world that on the one hand gives us the illusion that this should be possible, and on the other hand makes us feel completely dissatisfied, because we can never live up to these expectations.

I went to a gardening centre last month and they were already building up a huge Christmas display. As I walked through the large halls and looked at the things, I felt tempted several times to buy something. Thousands of decorations and completely furnished rooms, some of them super stylish, gave me a feeling of cosiness and warmth, of rest and enjoyment of the Christmas holidays.

But every time I held something in my hand, the other little voice in my head said, gosh, you actually wanted to live more sustainably, do you really need this to relax and be happy? What is happiness anyway? What makes you happy?

We all know deep down that the drink, other drugs, gambling, buying new stuff etc. only bring a short-term feeling of happiness. But the society does not make it easy for us and the messages we receive are mixed. Everyone can do something for the environment, but today, come and buy all the sparkly stuff. Has your day been miserable? Go and have a drink. Don’t have enough energy for your busy schedule? Sniff a line and you’ll be fine. Is your life busy all year and do you never have enough time for your loved ones and for yourself? No problem, go and decorate your house for the end of the year, with the generously laid table and the bottles of wine, and it will be alright again. For a moment you will get your illusion of a perfect life where you are sitting at the table with family or friends, all looking happy but with the belly full of “negative feelings”.

I woke up from the magical world with a feeling of sadness – I want to live the whole year, not just the one moment at Christmas or New Year. And we all want this. But the message we need is that it is totally OK to invite our pain, fear, frustration and the rest at the table too. That way they can join in the celebration and we are less busy pushing them away and can really connect with our fellow human beings.


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