All of this year I have struggled with being okay. Being happy. Feeling like it’s okay to be happy with so much pain around us. So, because of this, I have to say something that is incredibly obvious but a real breakthrough for me.
It’s okay to be happy. Let me explain. For about a year I’ve struggled with the guilt of being happy while everything is a dumpster fire. Mass shootings, murders, taxes, politics, assault, everything has escalated. Every week something worse happens. And every week I find myself feeling more and more guilty for being personally happy.
Even more confused? This is the 10th draft so you’re not alone. It’s been hard to describe this. Read on.
I’m upset. It is angering that I have to call politicians every three days and demand they not take away fundamental rights. I’m scared that the next concert I go to will have a mass shooting. I’m angry and I’m mad that I have to explain that I don’t even walk to the car the same way a man can carefree. But being angry is a real time suck.
This year I’ve struggled with a question at least once a day, “How can I be personally happy when there is so much bad happening in the world?” I wondered if that made me apathetic to those around me who are facing truly life-threatening issues. Does it make me a bad person to choose to be happy?
This year I’ve made new friends, got a promotion and am doing many new things that scare me. I’ve had a lot of growth, growing pains and overall, I’ve had a good year. Yet I feel bad that while I’m having a good year, others are not. How do I reconcile and remove the guilt of being okay and happy when there is so much pain?
Of all the people in the world, DJ Khaled did an interview and he touched on this topic. In the video talks about the impact you have in your direct world. Every one of us has some sort of impact on those in our world. If we are upset, caught up in the mad in the world, are we really being the best we can be for those around us? Ourselves? Truly the only thing we can semi control is our impact on others in our own world. Does it benefit anyone if I am angry about everything?
It is exhausting being angry all the time but it is also exhausting to care. There are two very different sides of exhaustion. Right now I’m exhausting myself on both ends. I’m reading THIS book right now, which is making me extremely aware of maybe I care about too much and am exhausting myself caring about the little things that do not matter. Sometimes you have to save some caring in order to truly take a stand for something big. It’s self-preservation.
So what are you supposed to do with all of this? Does this feel like a convoluted mess? You see why it has taken me so long to publish this. So let’s read these words out loud to ourselves. It is okay if you are okay and there is pain and uncertainty in the world. You can celebrate your moments without taking away from the bigger picture. It is okay if you are having a good year.
Maybe it doesn’t feel like you have an impact on the bigger world, but you do. You have an even bigger impact on the world around you. You don’t have to pretend everything is fine all the time. But you also don’t have to feel bad for having good in your life.
I wish I had more eloquent words to sum up this post. However, being realistic, this is a post I’ve tried to write for most of 2017 and I don’t think anything is going to become clearer to me. But I do know that I am very grateful for the good in my life and you are part of that.