Why being happy all the time isn’t actually all that great

Have you ever heard the song “Let Her Go” by Passenger? If it doesn’t ring a bell, give it a listen. It’s one of those songs that you’ve probably heard, but have no idea what the title is or who sings it.

This song has always stuck with me, and it really makes me think. What gets me is a few lines of the chorus:

‘Cause you only need the light when it’s burning low

Only miss the sun when it starts to snow

Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low

Only hate the road when you’re missing home

Only know you love her when you let her go

It’s the epitome of “you don’t know what you got ‘till it’s gone.” We never appreciate what we have when we have it. It’s only when it’s gone that we know what we experienced.

This song sparks a crazy thought in my mind (of course): If you were happy all the time, would you even know what happiness felt like?

24/7 happiness

There’s something about that euphoric feeling you get mid-laughing attack. That feeling of pure joy and bliss—of not worrying about anything in that moment. That feeling of happiness.

Even just describing it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. There truly is nothing better than just taking a step back and saying to yourself, “I am just loving life right now.”

Now, imagine never having that feeling again. Instead, you’re just happy all the time.

You might be thinking, “Geez, Julia, that sounds great. Who wouldn’t want to be happy all the time?” But would you really even realize that you’re happy?

We always want what we don’t have, and we don’t begin to miss something until we realize we don’t have it any more. I am sure you have had those periods of time when you were just so incredibly happy. Thinking back, a few moments may come to mind, but think a little harder—did you know you were completely, utterly happy in that moment?

Sure, you may have had those moments of realization I described above, but did you notice your happiness on a day-to-day basis? Probably not. That’s because you had nothing to compare it to. You were simply just living.

If you’re at a not-so-happy point in your life right now, you may be yearning for happiness. You may be sitting here thinking about a time in your life when you were truly happy and wondering why you can’t be in that same place tight now.

Truth is, you might be angry or sad or frustrated right now, but this moment that you are in is absolutely necessary if you want to feel happiness again.

To be happy, you have to be unhappy

Do me a favor and think about how you would describe the word “cold” to someone. And when I say cold, I mean the “Brrrrr, it’s cold in here,” definition. (Trust me, I’m going somewhere with this.)

Got it?

Okay, now try to describe it without comparing it to heat or warmth. Don’t even mention it being a “low temperature,” because without heat you can’t understand what a “low temperature” is.

Got it?

No? Okay, I’ll give you some more time. Just really think about it.

Okay, now you have it, right? Still no? Yeah, me neither.

It is incredibly difficult (I’m not going to say impossible, because I know someone will prove me wrong.) to define or describe some things without using its opposite definition or meaning, and that is true with happiness. The intensity of happiness you feel entirely depends on the intensity of sadness/anger/frustration/anything negative you have felt.

We all have to go through bad things in life in order to appreciate the good, because without it wouldn’t realize how good we have it. Sometimes the world can be a really bad place, but it always shifts into an incredibly amazing place. You just have to frame your mind to let it.

So, next time you feel like the world is doing absolutely everything it can to work against you, just remind yourself that happiness is right around the corner. You’ll appreciate the negativity you’re going through as soon as you come through and feel happy again. Promise.




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