Does a happy life really = a better life?

There must be a rumor going around. Virtually all of my clients tell me about it at some point.

The rumor sounds something like this: We should nearly-always be happy.

That it’s somehow unenlightened to have bad days.

That negative emotion should be quite rare and reserved for only those times when something truly horrible happens in the outside world (as if horrible outside events determine mood).

Well, I’m here to put a stop to that crazy rumor.

Humans are designed to experience emotions. The whole beautiful rainbow of them, not just the fun ones.

I’m not sure that the absence of bad days would even make your life better, although that’s what most people seem to believe. It would make your life smaller. It would make your range of experience more narrow. But better? I’m not so sure.

I’ve never met a person one who doesn’t have bad days. Have you?

However… there is a markedly different quality to a bad day when you get that bad days are part of life vs. when you beat yourself up for having them.

It’s a night and day difference.

When you are truly okay with all emotion, there’s nothing to write home about. Emotion comes—good and bad—and it goes.

Many of my clients tell me they don’t like to admit to me when they’ve had a bad day.  They think it means something, like that they are not working hard enough or changing fast enough. They expect me to be disappointed in them.

Disappointed in them for being human? Never, not even for a second. If someone never reports on a bad day I know they’re just not reporting it. I never think it doesn’t exist.

So let’s put this crazy rumor to rest. Go on with your good days, bad days, happy moods, pissed off moods. Go on and be human and have a big life. A full, rich life with lots of variety and everything that makes you human.

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