Are we Allowed to be Happy?

imagesI am a firm believer in happiness.  I think that everyone in life deserves to be happy.  There is no reason to spend your life in a state of misery or discontent simply to please others.  A life of piety is best reserved for nuns, priests, and monks.  However, one can only wonder where happiness ends and selfishness begins.

Let me explain.  In life, we all want to be happy. Hence, we do things that make us happy.  We go to places that we enjoy going.  We eat foods that we enjoy eating.  We date people that we enjoy dating.  But what happens when the things that we once enjoyed no longer bring us the same happiness?  When going to Myrtle Beach seems dull, eating pizza no longer brings us pleasure, and the person we once loved with such intensity can now only garner a mere like from us?  Are we allowed to leave those things behind?  Can we stop going to Myrtle Beach in favor of Miami Beach?  Can we exchange pizza for sushi?  Can we dump the one we’re with and get with the one we really want?

In these examples, no one would question your need to go to a different beach or to choose a new favorite food.  In fact, people would applaud your sense of adventure and your appetite for change and discovery.  However, when it comes to relationships, we are considered selfish when we are no longer happy and want to leave.  For some reason, it’s considered unacceptable.  We are encouraged to stay in relationships that no longer make us happy.  We are labeled martyrs when we stay together for the children.  We are told to sacrifice our happiness and put the needs of others ahead of our own.

In a way, I agree with this.  When you make a vow, you are expected to stick to the vow, for “better or worse.”  However, the inner child in me can’t help but to applaud those who choose happiness…who fall on their swords and villainize themselves so that they can allow their partner to find a new mate, someone who will love them like they are meant to be loved.  Hats off to the true heroes.  Those that are not afraid to be happy.

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