My Gray Stripes

Becoming whole through family life. Desserts help.

Happiness rejecters

Embrace Happiness SkylineMy first childhood memory stands as one of the happiest of my life.  I was eight and had waited months for this moment.  While I sat perfectly still my mother placed in my arms a brand new baby sister.  Time stopped.  I plunged into that movie scene where everything freezes except the two people in love.  I was deeply happy.

Every day I make a case for embracing happiness.  For me, to argue against happiness would be like making a case against reading….


Then I try to understand those who reject happiness. They may not be inclined by their temperament, haven’t experienced much happiness, or may not see it as a priority.  They may be engulfed in suffering or overwhelmed by the darkness of our world.  Their world or religious view may not emphasize faith, hope and  love which produce joy.

Or they may be reacting to the manipulative cheerfulness of a customer service representative or the slick maneuvering of a politician.  I’m cautious of the always perky smile, the uniformity of a group’s shiny exterior, or attempts to sell happiness in a bottle.  But deceitful behaviors disguised as happiness aren’t happiness at all.

Happiness, displayed as a positive attitude along with acts of kindness, is for some an inclination of temperament.  Happy-go-lucky sanguines have a gift of “the ability to be happy” to share and teach.  For others it is a priority or a learned habit.  I’m serious by nature, but living a life of angst and intellectual meandering didn’t fulfill me.  So while I walked that path when I was a young adult and found  it wanting, I am empathetic with the earnest.

Paradoxically, suffering eventually lead me to personal happiness and made me outwardly kinder.  I am grateful that happiness helps soften the blows of pain and injustice.  In the face of literal and figurative storms, I’m happy to be alive. In the face of death, I’m happy for tenderness shown and the promise of eternal life.

Rejecting happiness for oneself is one thing.  Trying to diminish or steal the happiness of others is wrong.  I will claim the happiness life affords me and embrace it the way I embraced my baby sister years ago.  With gratitude and awe.

Gray Stripe Earned:  Embrace happiness.


10 comments on “Happiness rejecters

  1. Deborah A. Sullivan
    January 23, 2013

    I thankU for moving my heart strings …
    for a moment I was there with you ….

    • angiemc6
      January 23, 2013

      Aw Debbie, thanks so much for the kindness! It’s always great to see you 🙂

  2. Amy
    January 23, 2013

    I would “like” this but I can’t remember my wordpress password, lol. Beautiful and thoughtful post, Angie!

    • angiemc6
      January 23, 2013

      LOL, thanks so much Amy! I always appreciate your happy, funny disposition 🙂

  3. Celeste
    January 23, 2013

    I have been trying to overcome my tendency toward the always-serious for my children’s sake. It’s not that I am unhappy, but I think I’m just overly serious, and they need a visibly happy, silly mommy now and then. But I don’t like to be false–they can see right through that. 😉 For me, I think it has to do with acknowledging the simple joys of each day, genuinely embracing those, reminding myself of them through the day, resting in them and allowing them to shine through me to my children. Easier said than done! 🙂

    • angiemc6
      January 23, 2013

      Celeste, your thoughts are lovely. I also prefer not to suffer through contrived fun with my children when there are so many ways for me to easily let my guard down with them. I prefer not to play board games but I will gladly watch a funny movie! My teens really pull the fun out of me. They are so funny and light hearted, it rubs off :). You are a great mom to consider your children’s need to *see* a happy mom!

  4. Lottie Nevin
    February 16, 2013

    Lovely post. I remember the feelings you describe so well, holding my baby brother for the first time. I loved your last paragraph, beautifully put, thank you.

    • Angie Mc
      February 23, 2013

      Thanks for sharing, Lottie! I just read your post “On Being a Bad Mother” . You shared there:

      “I found my cherub exactly where I had left her. Sound asleep in her Moses basket up in the cabin on the passenger deck, blissfully unaware of her Mother’s negligence.”

      I appreciate your candor and story-telling. And I know you are a real mother who had a bad moment. I’m with you 🙂

      • Lottie Nevin
        February 23, 2013

        Thank you Angie and how lovely of you to mention my post and link it too. You are awesome! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Organized pantry wards off gremlins | Family Answers Fast

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This entry was posted on January 23, 2013 by in Happiness & Suffering and tagged , , .
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