Happiness is a choice... that pisses me off.
If you are anything like me, you sometimes have bad days. Sometimes you let those bad days turn into bad weeks and bad months. Sometimes the badness takes root in you and it can feel difficult - impossible - to separate the two. You roll it over on your tongue like a sour candy because the burn tastes so good.
People (who shall not be named) say things like, "Happiness is a choice" in the face of this misery, possibly after it has carried on for awhile. This does not feel helpful. This feels like a shaming, a wrong-ing, a blaming.
I think it is done out of love. I think what these well-meaning, happiness peddlers mean is that waves of sadness will come, and if you need to batten down the hatches and crawl inside yourself for awhile, then fine. But the storm does not last. It cannot last forever. If you stay in your bunker, you will miss the sunshine and the rainbow. These things will not fix the storm. They will not erase the damage of sad news and shadowy desperation. But they will shine a light into the shadows and offer a tiny moment of perspective.
And the hard work - the choice - is to take a peek every now and then and decide whether the rain is coming down outside, or whether the storm clouds exist only inside you. And if they do, then so can the rainbow.
This week I got to meet Baby Millie, whose five day old body and ancient soul said, "I think the sun is shining in you."