I think I’m happy most of the time … I surround myself with my happy thing things and do things that make me happy.
Very recently, my husband was diagnosed with cancer but has a good prognosis. I have had some very sad moments and even continuing moments of sadness. I am working hard to be grateful, spiritual, optimistic and balanced. Often I think I’m coping , other times I think I’m in denial about the changes that are about to come into both our lives. How much of the happiness I’m feeling is truly just denial in disguise?
First, I’m sorry to hear about your husbands illness. Cancer is truly one of those life changing diseases, for both the patient and family, even with a good prognosis.
You’re correct that there can be a fine line between denial and all other emotions including happiness. However, from your email, it sounds like you’re very aware of all of your feelings. Meaning you’re allowing yourself to have moments of fear, sadness, and grief for your current life that’s about to change when a disease like cancer enters it.
Since you’re also actively looking for happiness I’d have no reason to believe that these moments aren’t also genuine even though the may be in few quantity than usual. The cancer, or any unwanted experience, is only part of your life. It doesn’t define you as a person or your entire life unless you let it. Therefore it’s natural to also experience happiness even in the midst of uncertainty and challenges. Ironically, many people find an experience like cancer can actually help them ultimately find more happiness. People often learn to live in the actual moment more instead of the past or future, they connect or reconnect with their spiritual center, and they often come to realize that experiences with love ones are the source of their happiness instead of the many things we chase thinking they will make us happy.
I’ve told several friends who’ve been challenged by cancer, “It’s a lonely journey. You have your family and friends around you that love you and want to help you, but in the end it’s your journey alone and we’re only supporting cast members.” It’s the same advice for a close family member … this is a unique experience for you alone and it can be lonely. As long as you recognize and feel the unhappiness that accompanies your journey, if you’re willing to see the happiness that’s also part of it, then there’s no denial, it’s genuine happiness. That’s the roller coaster of life — complete with both unhappiness and happiness — but rarely in equal portions.
Secret Society of Happy People Founder
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