Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Happy Happy Joy Joy (The Danger of Ultra Positivity)
In "Don't worry, Be Gloomy" of the September issue of Health magazine, they hit on an issue that I think is very needed to be addressed for the Forward to Happiness message. Basically, while it is not healthy to dwell on negativity and is important to believe you can escape it and change your life, it is not GOOD to be unrealistically happy. Indeed, it can be a sign of a mental illness, and I have experience that illness (mania) first hand in my ex.
I recall when I awoke from my sleep one night, after my youngest was born, to find my ex had written all over herself and was babbling about triangles. As it turned out, this was the beginning of a post partum psychosis that would put her in a mental facility and make her unhelpful for the first two years of my youngest daughter's life.
However, after she "recovered" she would continue to have the SAME problems. First, she would be overconfident about what she was able to do, believe she was invincible and completely right in all situations, see all opposition as being from "the devil" and that the world was against her, and she would do more and more activity and sleep less and less, till she would collapse into depression and another mental break...a cycle that happened again and again. However, even before the break, this was the pattern...lots of activity and little concern for anyone but her herself and believing that ALL is well and perfect and awesome. My decision to divorce her, due to her complete lack of empathy only fueled this, and it took me some time to fully grasp that it was not my leaving this hurtful situation that was causing this in her, but it was her cycle of self hurting and victimization, and I was only an unwilling participant. ANYONE would have been the blame to whatever was not going as perfectly, as she desired.
While this is an extreme example, it is something you see in many people and groups in the world, today. It is VERY common for people to live in self delusion. The world is good, because they SAY it is good...because they NEED it to be good, in order to keep a mental control on their grasp of their purpose and place in the world and they NEED that place in the world to be a part of it.... because it must be about and from THEIR perspective. And, so they sing the mantra...
Everything is Awesome Video
That song just comes to mind in thinking about this crowd...or the wayward pines mantra of, "work hard, be happy, and enjoy life in wayward pines." No worry that you live in an insane world out of your control or your understanding. No...just be happy. Go with the flow. Forgetaboutit as New Yorkers would say. Just BELIEVE everything is great, and it will be...except, that is DENIAL and it is FICTION.
"Don't worry, be gloomy," says on page 124, "When we're overly cheerful, we tend to neglect important threats and dangers." Also, it says, "When we're in 'everything is awesome!' mood, we're far more likely to jump to conclusions and resort to stereotypes...assume that the cute guy we've just met at the party is kind...or that we decide the bespectacled, middle aged man with a briefcase is more intelligent or reliable."
Indeed, this "halo effect" as the article calls it is responsible for a LOT of the problems that I have faced over time. I have been criticized for believing the best in everyone, when not everyone has the best intentions....a habit I have sobered up from a lot. The fact is that there is real threats out there, and you need a sober mind to see and address them..to see what is REALLY going on, not what you WANT to be true, before it is too late.
The fact is...you shouldn't have to and don't have to IMAGINE a kind person, when one presents itself to you or skew your perception to see the good in a really bad person. Just call it as it is, and address it as it stands in front of you. You will save yourself a lot of stress in the long run and a lot of wasted time in finding the one that is TRULY worth it. As the article says, "The paradox of happiness is that deliberately striving for it is fundamentally incompatible with the nature of happiness itself. Real happiness comes through activities you engage in for their own sake rather than for some extrinsic reason." (page 125).
So, ditch the rose colored lenses of others and make decisions for your life on what you see acted out in front of you. Judge others not by the intentions of your hopes but the reality of their deeds. Further, don't fall for the "grace" and "mercy" pleads of those that want to keep you hanging on. Think about it who asks for what in life. The guilty and abusing seek "grace" and intent while the victims in life seek "justice" and action. Make your decisions on what you desire to see, not what you want to hear. Life is not always "awesome," and those that say it is are hiding from reality. REAL emotion is necessary for a real CONNECTION, and isn't that what we are all after...a REAL and HAPPY life?