Festering, this image has been festering in my mind and infuriating me for the last few weeks. It's no surprise that complete bullshit memes like this float around. I know people think you can choose happiness. Ha, those ignorant and horribly wrong people. In case you missed my blog post about why you can't choose happiness, you can read it here.
Brief synopsis, you can't choose to be happy. Happiness is an emotion, emotions come naturally in response to external and internal stimuli. That's right, you heard it here, you cannot choose to be happy, its impossible so stop trying to achieve something that is unachievable. Now, I will say, you can surround yourself and do things that you enjoy which could very well provoke the emotion of happiness and that you do have control over, but not the actual emotion itself.
Here is where this meme irks me. You do NOT, I repeat, you do NOT have to be happy to be a nice person. See unlike happiness, which you can't choose to feel, nice is more of a value, morale, quality someone has. You have control over being nice to people, you always do no matter what the situation. But you sure as hell don't have to be happy to do it.
In fact, I find when I'm really angry or sad, depressed or anxious, I overcompensate by being even nicer than when I am calm or content. I go out of my way and choose to be nice on those difficult days. I always choose to be nice. But that's the key, it is something I can choose. It is something I can control.
Happiness is a very dark and difficult emotion for my body to feel. I don't often associate that feeling, my body does not naturally evoke the feeling of happiness. But that doesn't mean I go around being mean, I don't. I'm still a nice person. I still do many things for others, I still smile at most people. I'm always trying to figure out how I can help those in my life that I know and some I don't. Being nice is a choice, being happiness is not.
As someone who suffers from a few mental illness's and has a very hard time with emotions, memes like this really piss me off. Sure, a few years ago pre-ptsd counseling, I may have been hard on myself (okay, I was very hard on myself) every time I saw a post about choosing to be happy or reading an article that said how to be happy. I would have believed it and become angry at myself for not being able to choose to be happy because yeah, I'm sure everyone would choose happiness if it was possible. But the thing is, I know better now, I know you can't choose it, I know all those articles and all these memes are just bs put out there to make people feel worse.
Don't fret, you don't have to be happy to be nice, you can do that from the goodness of your heart, always, you can always choose to be nice. Don't fret, you can't choose to be happy so don't get down on yourself by all these articles saying how to do it and just to choose it. I mean seriously, are there people out there that other people think are choosing not to be happy? I don't think so. In fact, no it doesn't work like that. All this crap about happy people are pretty (that one just down right pisses me off, fuck no, stop saying it) you can be beautiful, you are beautiful but you can be beautiful and NOT happy. You bet you can rock looking great but deep down, it's okay still not to feel happy because your body isn't getting the external or internal stimuli to feel that emotion. It's okay.
So many people with mental illness already get down on themselves and shit like this that gets passed around is not helpful. It's hurtful. I'm incredibly thankful to have had the counseling I did, I know better now. I'm gentler on myself when I see shit like this. I know it's not a simple matter of choosing to be happy at the same time I know you can choose to be nice. I get so tired of seeing memes, there are so many, I feel each on deserves a post about why it is false. About why its a fallacy of life. It's exhausting to try and keep up. But I refuse to give up. I remember years ago how these kinds of posts made me feel, horrible, just horrible. I would believe that if I wasn't happy I was a mean person, that I couldn't be nice. I know people out there still feel that way and I want you to know, you don't have to.
Know this, whether you are sad, depressed, anxious, fearful, hurt whatever dark emotion you may feel, you can still be nice and you are still beautiful. Don't let false shitty memes make you feel else wise. At the same time know that, when you do feel happiness, joy, calm, peace, you can still be nice and you are still beautiful. Being nice and being pretty or beautiful do not relate to emotions at all. One is a choice, the other is a natural response. So go out into the world and rock being sad and nice at the same time, because that is possible. Whatever emotions you may feel, rock them and still, be kind.