You’ve gotta go low to get high

Last night I caught a bit of the film ‘Hector and the Search for Happiness’. I’ve seen it before, and the first time round I gave it a mediocre review. Last night however, I seemed to be watching with new eyes and picked up on two key messages…

Firstly, that it is our obligation to be happy.
And secondly, that life isn’t just about happiness.

So it’s our obligation to be happy, but it’s also our obligation to step into all our other emotions as well. The film talks about happiness, fear and sadness and emphasises the point that life is about all of them. As I’ve discussed in other posts I’m guilty of pushing consistently towards happiness, not pausing to see what there is to learn in times of sadness or fear, or anything else for that matter.

Watching ‘Hector and the Search for Happiness’ last night moved me to tears. It shines the light on the spectrum of human emotion, how you can’t have the light without being with the dark. The happily ever after fairy tale story has such a lot to answer for (yes I’m looking at you Disney). It demonises emotions that are anything other than joyous, when in reality there is so much beauty in letting go to sadness, or embracing anger and throwing things across the room (or mountain bikes up the hill in my case). We as humans are the whole spectrum of emotions.

When I was in coaching training three years ago my incredible leaders taught me that all emotions are beautiful. It was such a relief to hear you don’t need to desperately claw your way out of difficult emotional holes; there is something to learn there. Sure there’s something to be said about not wallowing in the hole, but if you’re in the hole with the perspective of ‘what am I learning here?’ rather than ‘poor me, look what the world has done to me,’ then it’s worth staying long enough to learn some lessons from that place.

Basically it’s all good, all emotions are beautiful, there to be embraced, experienced and explored. As a good friend once said to me ‘Life is a magnificent journey.’

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