When Happiness Is Bad For You


I’m still short on time for original content creation, but couldn’t pass up this item from the Center for Greater Good. It reminds me of a folk story I read in a collection once upon a time, long ago & far away. In it, a boy catches a magic fish who promises him one wish in return for freedom. The boy wishes to always be happy. The fish, being a wise magic fish, asks him, “Do you REALLY want to always be happy?” The boy can’t see anything wrong with it & goes with the wish, and is immediately happy. Happily going home, he finds his family standing around crying because their house has just burned down. But he’s completely happy– and everyone thinks he’s insensitive, weird, and a little slow. Soon thereafter, he finds himself chased through the jungle by a lion, but even when running for his life, he’s feeling nothing but happiness. After a couple more experiences of inappropriate happiness, he finds the fish & wishes to always feel the right feeling for whatever’s going on.

“You, yourself, as much as anyone in the universe, deserve your love and affection.”


Image from http://www.carsondellosa.com/products/114055–Emotions-Chart-114055


About jamesmatter

Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in private practice in San Francisco. I work with adults, adolescents, and couples, with focus on substance use and abuse and co-occurring disorders (having both a mental illness and an addiction).
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