In the age of optimism and positivity, happiness is an obligatory emotion to be experienced. The feeling is undermined as the feeling is overstated.
Happiness excites a certain rush in us. The feeling of pure joy is a mix of celebration, and satisfaction. More often than not, happiness comes to us as returns to an investment. There is the cost of effort involved that yields benefits, the reaping of these benefits is most certain, even if the duration sometimes hints otherwise. However it is this attainability of benefits that becomes increasingly expected and in the event of losses, it builds up to a mounting sense of grief.
It is important to acknowledge the fact that happiness cannot be a permanent emotion. And by that logic, it is only reasonable to say that neither is sadness. It is often felt that the phases of sadness last longer than those of happiness, and that it is because of this disequilibrium that we as students, and more broadly as people, feel sadness to be stronger emotion than happiness. In fact, it is really a matter of perception. I feel that sadness makes us think more deeply. It makes us question more objectively everything that is seemingly “wrong” around us – or more personally, within ourselves – a questioning that shakes our respective opinions and often remodels them.
In the aforementioned dilemma, it is natural to feel miserable. The disillusionment that comes from experiencing a moral conflict is in itself educational. You cannot expect to overcome such conflicts rashly. An important task is to extract the best lessons out of every challenge. Not feeling happy about something is such a challenge. Sadness felt due to a relationship, or due to academic inefficiencies can sometimes mean a change of heart or behavior. It is never advisable to stick to a challenge so as to let it feed on you eternally. In such a situation, letting go is a valid solution. Feeling sad is not so much a problem as feeling incapable of happiness is.
Many people define their goal in life as: to be happy. As different as this ideal setup is from reality, it is also an interesting perspective. That you could feel happy even in conflict, and keep up the resistance. The emotive thinking then, becomes an initially instinctive feeling. A feeling which later becomes a choice in that the emotion becomes a choice for you to act on. Dwelling on a positive emotion exhausts us in due course, whereas for a negative choice, it is otherwise. Why do we feel trapped in sadness? It is because we let go of the truth that happiness is inevitable and more importantly, that it always within. Darkness is a comfort, because it gives us an excuse to explain the absence of light; an excuse to evade responsibility. It is not wrong to feel misery, because that feeling is itself important to revel in the subsequent joy. But it is just that stepping out of it is really the important action to allow the balance of sadness-happiness to restore.
Remember that neither happiness nor sadness is a permanent emotion. And that neither is an obligation. Live in them, with the belief of a balance, because the balance always strikes.
Feature Image Credits: Unsplash