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Pursuit of Happiness

I find it hard to allow myself to be happy. When that deep-in- your-chest peaceful happiness takes a hold of me, I enjoy it for only a short while before fear sets in and ruins it. Fear that my happiness will be false, short-lived, or end up hurting me in the long run. Guilt hits me, of ‘how dare I be happy when others are hurting’. I sink into the assumption that if I am happy, riding high on life, at peace, etc etc, that that only means that eventually I will crash. That I will pay for my happiness, so to speak, with the after affect of depression or sorrow or let-down. I assume that happiness comes with strings attached. With a price tag I may not be prepared to pay.

And that’s stupid.

Yes, there are people hurting. Suffering. Crying. Struggling. Even dying. But that should not negate my ability to enjoy life. It does not somehow void my right to the pursuit of happiness. My humanity and empathy does not decrease based on my self-enjoyment.

No one, on their death bed looking back at their life, would say to someone that they should have been less happy, should have enjoyed their life less. No. This life is a gift. And if I am fortune enough to have health and wealth enough to enjoy it— it’s disrespectful to that gift for me not to.

I will give, share, sympathize, and participate in the lives of others; I will not turn a blind eye to the world’s suffering. I will try to lift others up. However, I refuse to shadow and dismiss my happiness any longer. I have fought long and hard through mental/emotional, financial, and physical struggles. I need to believe in myself, believe in my ability to live fully— and allow myself to feel happiness without fear.

And I wish the same for you. Put away the guilt. Shoo the fear from your mind. Let your heart be at peace. Our time on this earth is limited, we should not squander what we have.

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