There Are No Highs Without The Lows: Why We Must Understand Pain To Appreciate Happiness

by Ellen Scheidt

The problem with our generation is that we grew up knowing that there was always a "quick fix" to everything. If you had a headache, Tylenol solved it. The media is constantly showing advertisements for miracle drugs that will help you lose weight in a matter of weeks.

Going to the gym and eating clean takes too much time. If you are struggling with depression, you will be prescribed an SSRI, and within a matter of weeks, you magically feel better. If your iPhone malfunctions, good thing you have your iPad and you can retrieve all of your information through iCloud within a matter of minutes without missing a beat.

Now that we have reached adulthood, we still function with the mentality that if anything is wrong, the solution is right around the corner. We are unwilling to suffer through the pain and discomfort of trying to fix our own problems. Someone out there must be able to fix it for you, and that person better fix it today because you don't have time to be inconvenienced.

What about happiness? Unless you have a constant supply of Molly, happiness isn't always guaranteed. Even with drugs there is always a crash afterwards, sending your mind into a state of serotonin crisis. A wise man from "Humans of New York" once stated, "I used to be a heroine addict, but then I found that no matter how many drugs you do and how much you numb the pain, your problems will still be there in the morning. I was finally able to pull it together when I realized that it is just better to work through them on your own."

We expect for our lives to unfold perfectly according to plan. Graduate college, get married, have kids, then become a soccer mom. When people describe their "plans" to me I laugh because I know that it has the potential to change with a blow of the wind. Life is uncertain.

There are those who fear that they won't find their true purpose and happiness so they settle for the next best thing. These people live content lives, and they often find themselves filling the void in one way or another. Their lives aren't disappointing by any means; they just aren't living to their fullest potential.

The happiest people in this world are those who have earned their happiness. You have to be willing to take a risk. You have to be willing to see the darkness before the dawn.

You can't learn to ride without your training wheels without falling down a few times. There is no doubt that you will have your heartbroken a hundred times after the first. You must experience and recognize the feelings of rejection, heartbreak, confusion, and loss to fully understand, appreciate and hold on to the feelings of true happiness.

We can't expect a quick fix when it comes to love and happiness. You can't understand happiness without understanding pain. It is a process, but the journey of finding it makes us recognize how truly beautiful the end result is.

Photo via Tumblr