I used to fake happy in order to push away the scary, hard, hurtful emotions.
When I was happy, I was happy. And when I was broken and confused and overwhelmed and scared and sad, I chose to fake happy. I have a feeling you’ve done it. Or maybe you’re in the midst of doing it.
And you know what? I’ve come to a realization.
Feeling the hard allows more of the easy.
You see, faking happy gets us nowhere fast. We push through and cover up and manipulate these hard emotions because no one likes hard.
Yet, if we sat in the uncomfortable and wrestled with our hurting emotions – those easy, happy ones might feel even more easy and happy!
Jesus felt emotion too, you know. He was angry, fearful, burdened, happy, pained, compassionate, amazed. He let Himself wrestle with the hard emotions because he knew it was important. He knew that it wasn’t sinful to deal with the ugly stuff – or he wouldn’t have done it! Instead, he prayed, cried out, laughed.
He felt the happy and the sad.
Mark 8:1-3 – Jesus was compassionate toward hungry people.
Mark 1:40-41 – Jesus was burdened for the leper.
Mark 10:14-15 – Jesus was frustrated with his disciples.
Mark 11:15-17 – Jesus was angry at the people in the house of prayer.
John 11:33-36 – Jesus felt grief at Lazarus’ death.
Luke 10:21 – Jesus rejoiced.
Luke 22:44 – Jesus felt agony while praying to His Father.
Don’t hear what I’m not saying here. I’m not saying that we should wallow in anger and frustration and sadness. I am not saying we should never choose compassion and love, joy and excitement.
Rather, what I am saying is that when we allow ourselves to feel the difficult emotions in the moment they arrive – when we choose to get to the bottom of the issue, wrestle with discomfort, and stop faking happy – then we’ll be better able to enjoy the excitement and joy.
So, I’m done faking happy. I’m done forcing a smile when my heart is crying for something else – something real.
God gave us emotions. And I think all too often I’m afraid of them. I shouln’t be afraid of them. And you shouldn’t be afraid of them either.
That frustration? There’s a reason. And I bet if you get to the bottom of it you’ll be happier afterward than if you had covered it up.
That sadness? Well, it’s okay to be sad. Then celebrate the joy that comes after with even more excitement!
That anger? Don’t act on it, but let it sit. Explore why it’s there. Then apologize, move on, and rest in God’s forgiveness more easily.
You see what I mean here?
Maybe you need to quit faking happy too. So when you’re feeling those hard emotions…
#1 Know that Jesus had emotions too.
#2 Deal with the emotion appropriately. Know the root & reason. Explore its purpose.
#3 Enjoy the happiness and peace that follows more fully.
What step can you take today to explore negative emotions a little more? How might this free you to celebrate the happy emotions more fully?
Interested in understanding more about emotional health and fighting against negative emotions? I wrote a 10-Day Devotional Guide called “Connecting with Your Emotions: A 10-Day Devotional Guide” and would love to share a copy with you. Subscribe below and receive your devotional guide within minutes!