Happiness is not jumping up and down with excitement all day long. Happiness is not smiling from ear-to-ear at every single moment. Happiness does not mean being void of sadness, regret, or heartache. Happiness is not stopping yourself from shedding a tear.

You have to go through the night to get to the sun. There is a broad misconception that “being happy” means never “being sad.” Being happy means knowing the sadness will pass. Being happy means allowing yourself to feel. A state of constant happiness where dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and/or endorphins are constantly being fired is not a sustainable reality. Evolutionarily, never having fear or sadness would have left our ancestors for dead! A “positive outlook” suggests turning every negative into a positive, but that won’t help either. You’re allowed to have negative thoughts! The fault lies in our emotional side taking over based on whatever state (positive or negative) we are in. Going further, taking action based on our emotional state could really cause some damage to our situation. Instead, when feeling exceptionally down and thinking you suck, change your focus. Instead of thinking in terms of the outcome (example: everything will remain sucky) you try to do something proactive to start the process going (getting a new job, etc). A brain in motion doesn’t have time to think about how sad it is, no matter the underlying reason. If after you start the process and things don’t seem to be working out, don’t fret! Simply start something new as soon as possible to get yourself on a new projectile.

Happiness is the ability to appreciate where you are, who you are, and who you are with. Happiness is loving and being loved. Happiness is rolling over and pulling her closer.

I know true happiness is because I’ve known true sadness.