Keep Unhappiness to Yourself

“I think that art must not be a disagreeable thing. There is enough unhappiness in life to turn one towards the joy. One should keep the disagreeable, the unhappiness to himself.” ~ Matisse

I have been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1998 and throughout that time I have tried to never inject the serious or unhappy things that have happened to me and mine. I am not a beacon of light, but neither am I a master of darkness. Both are elements of life–but I have never believed that I should make someone else feel bad just because I do.

On the other hand I really appreciate it when people are honest and sometimes display “their darkness” because then I know that I am not alone. All is not sweetness and light. But all is not sour and dark. How do you balance your life?

Published in: on February 12, 2015 at 11:30 am  Comments (42)  

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42 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m still juggling and balancing, haven’t figured it out yet!

  2. I am usually a very happy-go-lucky person, always have been, but work is really getting to me lately, and I’m having a rough time dealing with it. So, for me, unfortunately, there is no balance right now :(.

    • I am so sorry–I worked in a law office once and it is super stressful–especially if some of the people you work with or for are not very “enlightened” (for lack of a better word). You still do not portray your unrest in your blog though–and come across as our happy friend–

      • Thanks LouAnn. I’ll try to be my usual goofy self and keep that smile on my face :). Life is too short!

  3. You have written about something I have spent time thinking about. Spreading a little sunshine instead of gloom is a noble thing. Yes, life isn’t all lightness as you say, and to share the dark side does show a vulnerability which connects us all. Balance is difficult, but I prefer the light, the sun and yes, rainbows.

    • a very balanced comment-and btw–you get the brunt of my darkness yet are always there for me and for this I thank you

      • You are the opposite of darkness……and I am always hereπŸ˜€

      • yes you are…………<3

  4. I think that the balance is difficult for all of us but I am getting better at embracing the light at the end of the tunnel.

  5. I write whatever is on my heart or mind to do… Many times I wear my heart on my sleeve.. (trying actually to picture that phrase)…. I decided when starting this blog I would just write what I wanted. I try to keep those in my life for the most part ‘nameless’ and not divulge too much about them. On occasion I share more. I would suggest too much for some people…. but that’s me… Diane

    • just because I do not always wear my heart on my sleeve does not mean I do not appreciate it whenever other people do–I think you are brave to share

      • For some…like me it comes easier than for others…. I totally get that…. πŸ˜‰ Diane

  6. Sounds stupid I know – but I don’t think I balance life – like balances itself. The issue for me is choosing my topics – I find it very hard to write when I’m down, the rhythm changes, the words perhaps too laden with sorrow to be considered within the right perspective. Does that make any sense?

    • I too have a hard time writing when I am down–but sometimes deadlines don’t wait so I have to fake it–it is somewhat questionable whether I fake it well though…

  7. I agree with the wine–yoga too as a theory–something I have not put into practice

  8. I try to keep my unhappiness to myself (it’s embarrassing when other people have to see me so down, especially since the majority of people don’t care what another person is going through) but lately it’s been trying to push it’s way to the surface. Whenever I’m in public or at work and feel unhappiness starting to show I pop a piece of chocolate in my mouth and think of Cindy and LouAnn. πŸ˜‰

    • well if that is not the ultimate in compliments I don’t know what is! It is hard to keep things under wraps and I am not all that sure that we should

  9. I try not to be public about my worst moments but after those are over, I still like to reflect on them. Typically I try to inject some perspective into it so that people will think about bigger topics of discussion as opposed to the nitty gritty of what’s been happening. At least that’s what I attempted with my most recent blog post. Hopefully it wasn’t too draining on anyone who read it!

    • just read your post and it was reflective of what happened–I think it is important to take the time to think about how things can go wrong sometimes especially if the proper amount of effort did not go into a project–keep this up and you are going to be super successful!

  10. I think spreading a balance is right, definitely agree. I prefer the sunshine no doubt, we all need a little darkness to keep ourselves grounded.

    Choc Chip Uru

  11. Keep moving your feet forward…

  12. Mmmm i guess I’m a guilty party of expressing both on my blog.

    • and you do it beautifully

      • Quietly, thank you

      • for some reason I am not getting your updates–I am following you–must see what is wrong–I love your poetry

      • WP is fangled like that. Thank you very much…sincerely.

      • πŸ™‚ you are one of my favourite and most talented blog friends

      • Likewise my friend.

  13. Life is messy and many times we don’t do the noble thing or even pick up on a positive twist from some terrible experience. But I think some of the best writing is when someone shares a rough situation and in the end finds some good. Readers relate and find comfort in knowing that someone else made it through. We all have down times and we somehow muddle through. I hope things ease up for you.

    • I think you are right on with what you say–I am comforted when someone opens up and shares their experiences–especially when it is something I can relate to

  14. I have always believed that in focusing on the joy of life, instead of the suffering and pain, life will bring more joy. Each one of us suffers in some way, that’s part of life, but I choose to write about the happy slices of life in my blog and most of my writing. In my books, yes, my characters need to show their unhappiness and emptiness, but in the end, they find fulfillment. Good question here and I do think about it often. Do we ignore the bad and the pain? Or do we only show the good and the wonder of life? I guess it’s a choice each of us should/can make.

    • we cannot ignore the bad and the pain–from one who lived in denial for awhile I know this–and must admit that though I do not express pain in my columns–I have few times on this blog and been rewarded by great understanding and compassion

  15. Although not always easy – I try to stay positive.
    Life is too short to dwell on the negative & the woes.
    And – losing my brother – when he was 25 – reminds me to stay on track for trying not to stress about things that are out of my control.
    I do need my hugs every now & again though. After-all – I’m only human.

  16. As you know, my blog is generally a light-hearted rant about some piece of tomfoolery or another. Occasionally, when the black dog is on my back, I tell people. Know what I’ve found? They don’t mind at all. They’re even mildly flattered sometimes. My friends all know when I don’t want to talk or join in, and they express concern then leave me alone.
    A lot of the stuff I write is funny, and I find that writing stuff that people laugh at, that even I laugh at, Can be a lift even when I’m dragging along the bottom

  17. I think it’s important that we do share a bit of the negative along with the positive, otherwise people will think we’re living the perfect life, and nobody’s life is 100% ideal. Have a great Valentines weekend, LouAnn. xx

  18. Like several here, I try to focus on the good, but sometimes reflect on something that has been difficult for me to share the meaning / lesson that I gained. I am more often up than down, but have had my share of the hard things of life…the past several months have been difficult, and I find myself NOT writing much because I need to process and find a way to be honest without being negative…mostly for my own reasons.

    You seem to do a great job of bringing humor to a lot of your writing while letting the realistic show too. ~ Sheila

    • your comment is a wonderful Valentine–and I am the same as you–tend not to blog when I am stressed–but once in a while I do reveal my darker side and am comforted by the responses I get

  19. I think it’s very important to have people in our lives that we can share the dark times with, people who can help us carry the load, but at the same time, I don’t agree with spreading our gloom far and wide.

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