Happiness. You can’t fake it or force it. Kat Weed reminds us: your story needs a way out. Let it.

a guest post by Kat Weed

I really wish it was as easy as “#choosehappiness“, “#choosejoy“, or “#belove“. I do. But it’s not. Choosing to override our pain with false positivity or pseudo-spirituality might work as a bandaid in the short term…….we might feel “better” in the moment (especially as we collectively marinate in dopamine as the “likes” roll in for our latest yoga-pose-in-the-sunset post), but all it ultimately accomplishes is emotional suppression. This not only makes it much harder for us when we finally build up enough courage to allow our pain to surface, it also breeds things like anxiety and depression, because our pain, our story, is looking for a way out. And we all have a story, regardless of how “good” we say we are when people ask us how we’re doing. The holiday season is typically full of shiny, celebratory posts, most of them declaring feelings of joy regarding the season, and the quality time spent with family. I’ve even put a few of these out myself, because this year, I’m genuinely having a wonderful holiday. But it hasn’t always been this way for me. And even this year, I’ve had my share of ups and downs…..it wasn’t all “wonderful”, just like nothing is ever 100% _______ (insert adjective here). For many of us who have experienced intense family dysfunction, trauma, addiction, emotional cutoff, etc etc……the holiday season can bring up difficult feelings. The point that I want to make is that we need to hold onto our humanness (i.e. letting ourselves be the imperfect messes that we ALL are!) during this expectation-laden season, and allow ourselves the dignity of being exactly where we’re at, instead of attempting to bypass our pain by pretending to be in a static state of holiday bliss (we are actually never in a static state of anything, ever). It’s ok if you’re not ok this holiday season. It’s also ok if you’re having a wonderful holiday for the most part. It’s also ok if you are having a mix of both, and are experiencing a vast range of highs and lows, and all the triggers in between (I often say that there is nothing quite like a “fun old-fashioned family trigger” 😏). It all means you are part of a cool club known as HUMANITY. #allinthistogether