We’ve all heard or read motivational speakers who say things like: “Bad things never happen. You choose to be happy. Look for the positive in everything.” and stuff like that. But the reality of it is, that you can’t always be happy. It’s impossible. Imagine you if you were always happy… how would you really know after a while?
People who live in the sun and drought for years, long for the rain. Those who live with rain for months on end yearn for the sun. We need a little of both. Does that mean you should go looking for bad things or sadness? You don’t have too… it comes in it’s own time.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m happy most of the time, I’d say maybe 90 percent of the time and I’m happy about that. I’m glad its not the other way around. But I do have days where I’m stressed, sad, depressed etc.
For example, my wife and I suffer from PTSD that was brought on with the death of our daughter. Every year in August we go through a pretty harsh depression. Our bodies relive the pain and anguish of that loss. I get chest pains and feel like I’m having a heart attack. I feel guilty for being alive. I relive her death in my dreams. Eventually the symptoms go away and we get back to our everyday life.
Let me also add something about tragedy. There is often if not all the time some kind of silver lining. As tragic and heartbreaking as my daughter’s death was, it did after a few years bring positive changes into our lives. It brought me and my family closer together, it made me appreciate my children that much more…
The problem I see with “positive” thinkers is that they kind of make you feel ashamed for feeling bad or having regrets. Which is BS because I know that these people have bad days. Everyone has bad days. The problem is denying it and pretending that everything is always great only hurts and discourages those people trying to better their lives.
Yes we can and must learn from our regrets our pain, our mistakes. But we must also acknowledge all of it, deal with it and then move on. Oh and guess what? Sometimes revisit the pain too, ’cause ya, that happens.
So, in closing. It’s ok to have bad days. It’s ok too feel sad. It’s ok to have regrets. It’s ok. My advice is, talk to someone who cares about you. Talk to someone who’s been there. And yes after a time of reflection and contemplation, look for the silver lining. Don’t forget your pain, because that pain will help you help someone else in the future.
“Regret makes us human. Regret makes us better” Daniel Pink