Happiness in Tragedy

Happiness is hard to come by. Life hands us plenty of disappointments and pain. We are bullied, abused and hurt. We get sick, lose loved ones and cry our hearts out. Some things we can’t influence. Others we can.

The first step to happiness is knowing the difference between the things you can change and those you cannot. While we cannot influence some things life throws at us, we are able to make some significant choices towards happiness.

It is hard to choose happiness per se. We can change the way we think about certain situations, but not the way we feel about it.

Therefore it is essential to understand which of our choices lead to happiness and which don’t.

In my experience the key lies in three important choices we have to make:

  1. We must want to be happy
    This sounds ridiculous at first. Who wouldn’t want to be happy?
    The sad truth is that everybody has someone in their social circle who always seems to have problems. Be it regarding his or her job, relationships or simply life itself. Even in the most perfect situation there has to be some problem, some drama of some sort. Those people are simply not used to being happy and — sometimes unconsciously — sabotage their own happiness. A typical sign is when someone chooses not to act, even if there is a clear way out of a bad situation. This mindset can be toxic, for the person himself but also for everyone in their social circle and can be absolutely devastating in romantic partnerships. Sadness is an essential emotion that makes us human. Constant negativity on the other hand is something that instantly destroys every seed of happiness.

2. We must be willing to accept help
During our lives we all come to situations that show us our personal limits. Be it the loss of a loved one, a personal failure or a serious illness. By trying to deal with these situations on our own, we are simply overwhelmed and might slip off into a dark hole of depressive, sometimes suicidal thoughts. Sometimes we are too afraid to accept help from friends or relatives. We might think that it’s our own responsibility to deal with it or feel ashamed, because our choices brought us into that mess. It takes a lot of courage to not only ask for help, but also accept someone else’s help.

3. We must be able to accept and forgive
There is no place for narcissistic behavior and physical or emotional abuse in a relationship. Those things are mostly unbreakable behaviors and personality traits that sooner or later destroy everyone involved. But sometimes we end up in terrible situations by accident. Loved ones might cause us pain simply by carelessness. 
Loving relationships ended, because they weren’t able to cope with a terrible situation. Instead of helping each other, lovers blame their partner and look for responsibilities where there are none. Tragedies need no reason. The only way out here is to look for acceptance for things that cannot be changed anymore. Relationships can become stronger by going through these situations together or they can end in accusations and pain. The key to make it out of a tragedy alive is by trusting each other, accepting different ways of dealing with pain and supporting our partner without looking for someone to blame.

To some people happiness seems to come easier. Maybe because they are more resilient. Maybe because they went to a lot of pain at an earlier point in their life and have learned to cope with sadness. But mostly because they have learned to accept that some things cannot be changed and others can. By not seeking blame but accepting help. By cherishing the people who bring positivity into their lives.