What do you feel inside when you read this question? Fun… happiness… What’s the difference?
We all want to have fun.
We all want to be happy.
But far too many believe these two to be the same. They’re not, though. One is pretty short-lived and can become an addiction, the other means pain and patience but also a fulfilling result. Let me explain what I mean by this.
I’ll jump back in time for a moment, seven years to be precise. That was the height of my own depression.
Was I happy?
No, absolutely not. Any time I was alone, I felt completely lonely. When there was no music, the computer was switched off and I had no one to talk to, then I felt as if I was being swallowed by a black cloud. It was grey and cold… well, actually, I didn’t even feel such a thing as ‘cold’ anymore.
It was a feeling of ‘empty’, even though my head was full of thoughts all the time. Worries about the future, anger and frustration about the past and about all the mistakes I was constantly making. That’s not what happiness is.
Was I having fun?
Absolutely! Not all of the time but in a lot of moments nonetheless. When I was drunk, for example. Or when I went for a smoke with the others (even though I suffer from asthma…) and we made fun of other people because we felt close to each other, united in the fact that we all smoked. I was having fun whilst playing computer games or making music with my band.
I was also having fun when girls at school were checking me out after they’d seen me play with my band and saw me as “cute” all of a sudden. Yes, I was having fun quite a bit.
Fun ‘needs’ something
BUT: This feeling of being free never lasted long. To have ‘fun’ you need something that you don’t have. An outer influence. An ‘instrument’.
You need music, films, other people, other items… something that takes your mind off of you and the current moment. And that’s exactly the problem, because as soon as this influence is no longer there, you sink back into that inner abyss…
Am I saying that fun is bad? No, absolutely not. Have fun! As often as possible! BUT: Understand that fun is not the solution to your problems.
Fun is not the ice cream in that sweet ice cream cone of life. Fun is not the whipped cream between the scoops of ice cream. Fun is the cherry on top. A tasty addition that can make life more beautiful.
But if you don’t make sure that, underneath the cherry, there’s other tasty bits hidden, then you’ll spend the rest of your life putting more cherries on top. As soon as the cherry/the fun is gone, you’ll feel incomplete, like an empty glass. And in the back of your mind, you know: There’s got to be more!
Having “fun” mainly means one thing: You’re not feeling bad.
And that’s okay. WHILE you’re having fun. While you’re out partying. While you’re out and about with your friends. While you’re tickling your partner. While you’re having sex. While you’re watching a film.
But if you don’t want to constantly look for new impulses, if you want to relax and feel good while doing nothing, then you’ll have to go down a different path:
You have to allow the bad feelings.
Most of us (including me a lot of the time) don’t want to feel bad. We want to feel good! We want to feel strong and motivated! We want to feel loved…
But all of these feelings aren’t a permanent state.
- Sometimes we feel small, weak and imperfect.
- Sometimes we feel like nobody loves us.
- Sometimes we feel sad because our dreams are so far from reality.
- Sometimes we feel exhausted and overwhelmed by all of our daily problems.
- Sometimes we feel like we don’t live the life we deserve.
- Sometimes we feel angry at ourselves and angry at others.
- Sometimes everything becomes too much, and we feel nothing but empty. Aimless. Without any hope that those reoccurring lows will eventually stop.
And that’s fine. It makes us human. Both our social life as well as our inner self aren’t always straight. Our life consists of polar opposites.
Sometimes we feel good. Sometimes we feel bad.
Sometimes we feel strong and confident. Sometimes we feel unimportant and weak.
Sometimes we feel attractive and loved. Sometimes we feel worthless.
Sometimes we feel motivated and want to embrace the entire world. Sometimes we feel small, empty and listless.
And that’s fine. Actually… it’s not just fine. IT’S BRILLIANT. It’s NECESSARY.
“If there was no Bad, then there would be no Good.”
It’s only a problem if we suppress one of those polar opposites. If we hide from one of them. If we just don’t want to allow one of them. Because that means we suppress the truth which simply can’t be unseen.
This is part of the law of attraction. Like inner self, like outer self. You will attract what you choose to focus on.
If you don’t want to have or feel something, then you’ll focus on exactly that. You’ll tell yourself, “I DON’T want to feel bad!”. Unfortunately, our brain doesn’t know the word ‘not’.
“Okay, so I just have to focus on the opposite and then I’ll feel good? Just stay positive?”
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works, either. What’s there is there.
If there’s an elephant in the room, you can try to look out the window… but the elephant is still there, and it will obstruct the view sooner or later.
It will do so until you acknowledge it. Until you allow it to be there IN THAT MOMENT. Show it some love and understanding. Show it that it is welcome. NOW.
Your feelings need the same thing. No matter which feelings. It doesn’t matter if you have a name for said feeling. Allow it to be present. Allow yourself to feel.
Anger. Sadness. Worthlessness. Hopelessness. The dark shadow of depression. Everything is allowed. Because when you show a feeling understanding and acknowledgment, something wonderful happens.
It disappears. Slowly but surely. And it leaves room in your heart. But this room isn’t empty. It’s full of the warm feeling of love.
Because ACCEPTANCE is LOVE.
“I love you“ means “I think you’re perfect just the way you are!”
With all of your weaknesses. With all of your mistakes.
Your body is your loyal servant
And your body knows it. Your body knows that you need love. That’s why it will not stop trying to wake you up with those strong, negative feelings until you’ve learned to give yourself some love. That acceptance. Without wanting to change something.
I know that’s not always easy. But I also know: If you keep trying, if you keep pausing for a moment and allow your feelings to be present, then your life will change.
You’ll learn to love yourself.
You’ll become more resistant against criticism and insults.
It’ll get easier to make clear decisions and stick with them.
It’ll get easier to forgive yourself and others for their mistakes.
You’ll be happy.
And then, the fun times won’t be followed by an abyss. In those quiet moments, you’ll discover that underneath that sweet cherry, there’s a huge portion of tasty chocolate ice cream waiting for you… without having to search for it every time.
You’re just present.
You’re just happy.
And all it takes is a decision:
“Yes, feeling, I allow you to be here. You are a part of me and I acknowledge you as a part of me.”
Breathe deeply into this feeling. And allow yourself to feel bad. Allow yourself to not be productive and motivated. Allow yourself to not be the best version of yourself. Allow yourself to “be a burden” to others with your mood.
That way, you’re making room for new feelings. For fulfillment and cosy warmth. For the feeling of having arrived.