I want to be happy. We all experience life through a series of emotional states and we are thrust into despair, depression, and defeat. If I just want to be happy, I have to figure out a way to trick myself into moving through the dark times as if I am happy, or else doom myself to flashing the big “L” on my forehead for eternity.
At first, I tricked myself into thinking everything is just hearts, rainbows, stars, unicorns, and flowers all the time. Life is beautiful. Complete denial of darkness. All this did is make the pendulum swing more radically into the shadow when I wasn’t looking. Hello depression. I was riding a 3 legged mule instead of my sparkling unicorn.
When Grandma died recently, Mom gave me a copy of a personal statement I wrote in high school. My high school self wanted happiness, too.
Being the anthropologist of my life, excavating happiness, is a challenge. How do I smile when I feel like I am being buried alive by the dirt of life? How do I unearth joy when I feel low?
For me, it is faith. Within the idea of faith, I sense a bit of light. So when I am exploring my shadow, I practice faith in myself.
Faith in the creative process.
Faith that there is some lesson I am learning that is helping me understand the mystery that is my life.