Why are we so hesitant to talk about happiness? I’m not referring to how to attain it, as there are plenty of discussions around this; I mean genuinely and openly discussing our own happy.
I post photos on social media pretty regularly. Most of them are smiling, happy, beautiful moments. I’m not trying to paint the “perfect” picture. I assume that you know that my life isn’t all laughter and sunsets, but, on the days where those moments happen, it’s what I choose to focus on and share.
I share some of the things on the perimeter of those photos here. It’s called balance.
I know that when I see your happy, filtered, cropped photos on social that you were capturing a moment. That just on the outside of that frame, just before or just after you captured that image, maybe by minutes, or hours, life isn’t so glossy. In fact, I know it’s straight up messy some days.
But that’s what we tend to focus on outside of the pretty pictures. The mess. The struggle. The who did what to who. Our conversations become a comparison of the challenges.
I’ve been listening to Rachel Hollis’ podcast that she shares with her husband, Dave, Rise Together. It’s such a great breath of fresh air. They’re honest about their life – that it’s messy and challenging – but they also are honest about how they value and prioritize their relationship, as husband and wife.
They share the challenges, however they talk about their relationship in a bright, honest, positive way.
What I’ve noticed since starting to follow them is that they’re a rarity. They share their truth, but they also share their happy.
They look for reasons to be positive, to find the happy, to be grateful for each other. They admit that there are faults between and within each of them. But they choose not to highlight or focus on that.
They celebrate their happy.
Socially, it can be more comfortable to commiserate about failings, about difficulties and challenges, than it is to talk about the shinier side which we should all focus a bit harder on. Not just in our marriages or in our romantic relationships, but in our friendships too.
Finding common ground is too often sought out through expressing grievances.
I love a good vent session; I need support, advice and shared stories of similar circumstances. We just need to be sure it’s not where our primary focus hits on a regular basis.
I think we can even be guilty of burying our happy. We don’t want to feel boastful, or make others feel less than by talking about it. We’re also a bit timid around happiness; by virtue of talking about it, we don’t want it to slip through our fingers, or have to recant our happy when things take an unexpected turn.
Happy moments should be shared. Not as a bar to reach, but a feeling captured in time to remind us to be grateful, a moment to remind us what to focus on. We all need highlight reels, and it’s important that we’re just as good at highlighting our own, and not holding our stories up in comparison to someone else’s.
And, if in the middle of sharing your story, someone in your circle holds issue with any part of it, shouldn’t you question why they have a seat at your table in the first place? I want the people around me to be happy; I want to share in their happiness, always, if not especially when I am going through challenging times.
By sharing your happy, you could be inspiring someone who isn’t even acknowledging that they’re listening.
What we focus on multiplies. By sharing your happy, it will spread.
And we could all use a little more of it.