The Power of Positive Thinking, and other myths!
As much as I like the Frenemy’s writings, I can’t get behind the newest one— we are not necessarily in charge of our own happiness. To a certain extent we are. I am one of the most proactive people I know about taking charge of my life and happiness, and I’ve still had a really rough time of it. I still cry pretty frequently and feel pretty sad a lot.
It also reminds me of watching the movie Bridesmaids. I laughed at half the movie, rolled my eyes at the other half. The motivating speech that got the protagonist to get up off her ass was all about how you’re responsible for your own happiness, for success.
Nevermind that the protagonist’s business failed because of the recession, causing her to lose everything. No, her sadness, her unbearable sadness and anger, was her own doing.
This kind of message is about two steps removed from telling people to pull themselves up from the bootstraps. Of course we’re in charge of our happiness, but we’re often not in charge of the deep injustices we’re pitted against or the sadness inherent to our bodies or our situations.
I never want anyone to hate themselves for not being happy. Sometimes the hardest lessons we learn is that we’re NOT in charge, not in charge of anything, and happiness is often found while struggling through incredibly difficult pain and sadness.