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Can you always be happy?

“I don’t want school to end.”

As I write this we are in the last week of school for my kids. My daughter is leaving Elementary school and moving up to Middle school. When I put her to bed last night she said “I don’t want school to finish.” It’s understandable, she goes to a great school, she has some great friends and loves learning new things.

Can you always be happy?

Over the years I have written quite lot about happiness and the power of positive thinking. I truly believe happiness is a good thing. (There is even some science that suggests it is too!) From time to time people will ask me “can you always be happy?” The answer, I believe, is no, you can’t always be happy (and its probably not healthy to be happy all the time either.) However, I equally think you probably shouldn’t always be sad all the time either.

Everything comes to an end.

I explained to my daughter that everything comes to an end. Or, to put it another way, this too shall pass. If you are going through a hard time it will eventually come to an end. Likewise, if you are going through a good time (like Elementary school) it too shall come to an end. Nothing lasts forever and I believe this is a good thing. You need the bad times to appreciate the good times and the good times to appreciate the bad times. In fact, the bad times often help you grow so you can have more good times.

Life is like day and night.

That being said, I have a theory that when it comes to happiness, life is like day and night. There will be times when it is light and there will be times when it is dark. This is unavoidable. You can however control how long it is dark for. Happiness (and sadness) can be a choice. You can use a candle to take away some of the darkness at night. You can open the curtains to let the light in at day break. You can look for the small glimmers of light shining in around you.
The point is this, you have some control over how long it will be dark for and you can choose to let the light in when it appears. So if you are going through dark times, know that it wont be this way forever and light will shine on you soon. Also know that you have the power to light a candle or open the curtains.

Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy it happened!

I suggested to my daughter that she remember the good times she has had at school. In the words of Dr Seuss – “don’t be sad it’s over, be happy it happened.” I also said that she should make sure she knows how to get in touch with her good friends. These are ways to let in the light. I also said that its OK to be sad that it’s over. I also said that her Middle school will be just as good as Elementary school but in different ways. In three years time she will likely be saying “I wish Middle school didn’t have to end.

Final words

When you are going through sad times, remember to open the curtains and turn on the light. You can’t avoid sadness completely but you can make sure you don’t prolong the sadness unnecessarily.