• Wendy Lee Johnson

Happiness in 20/20

It feels like happiness is the goal. Whenever I feel down or upset, it feels like something’s wrong. I find myself doing whatever I can to “raise” my spirits.

PMA (Positive Mental Attitude)

I was raised by a fabulous mom that completely rocked PMA. She taught classes on “Twinkling” (how to communicate your happiness with your eyes). She never complained or said an unkind word about anyone…ever. She was such a delight. As a mom, she was the best there was. She even seemed happy all the time. Looking back, I actually never knew how my mom felt.

I have always been a fairly positive person. I really thought this was a great thing, as well. It turns out, I haven't been in touch with my own feelings either. I grew up thinking happy was the goal.

Most of us were never taught what to do with a negative emotion

Often, we just plaster right over our negative feelings with happy thoughts and a smile. Sometimes our plaster looks more like cupcakes or Netflix. It's similar to how we use paper mache to make a piñata. It looks colorful and fun on the outside, but the inside is hollow and weird.

20/20 Vision

We would benefit with a closer look into what we were feeling. When we have 20/20 vision, we are able to see the details, with depth and clarity, nothing blurry.

It’s time to take a whole new look at happiness with 20/20 vision and see if it’s really the goal.

We think we are supposed to be happy most of the time. Almost like it's our duty.

What if that isn't the case?

What if positive emotions only showed up about half of the time?

Can we feel bored or lazy or sad and decide nothing is wrong?

What if we don't have to run from the "bummer" feelings?

Thoughts that seem great, but force the happy

  • I just want everyone to be happy

  • I just want my kids to get along

  • I just want this to go well

  • I just want to enjoy this

  • Everyone’s going to love this

  • This will be perfect

What if, in addition to happy, it's okay to feel:

  • Disappointment

  • Frustration

  • Boredom

  • Exhaustion

  • Lonely

  • Unloved

Some thoughts that may lessen the suffering

  • This is probably going to feel rough and that’s totally fine

  • My family is the best and the worst

  • Everyone can show up as themselves. I can be good with that

  • Nothing is going wrong here

  • I don’t need to fix things

  • I’m not everyones cup of tea and that’s okay

"Making" Peace

I love the idea of "making peace" with happiness. Consider releasing happiness as the goal. Maybe the goal is experiencing the whole range of emotions? Making peace looks like being on board with half the time things feel pretty good and half the time they don't. Then we can feel the peace that comes from a deeper knowing.

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