Misery makes me feel bad. Not bad because of the misery but bad because of the guilt that accompanies the misery. I have recently become aware of this. I notice that whenever I am miserable, I feel bad. I feel guilt. Guilt is fear of future punishment. So when I feel guilty I ask myself, “What future punishment am I fearing?” It is as if I feel like something bad will happen to me because I feel miserable. I live in a culture where inner peace, happiness, serenity, joy and positivity are held as supreme values. If a person is not happy and positive they feel like they are doing something wrong. They feel like they are being bad and ungrateful. A terrible person. We are addicted to happiness, joy and positivity in America. It is disgusting. It is complete conformity. We want inner peace and serenity so bad but when we feel negative or miserable we repress it or give ourselves a hard time. Don’t we realize that misery is a normal emotion? It is a natural response to the world in which we live. Don’t we realize that the only way to find inner peace or serenity is to accept misery? To be miserable. Not to deny it. To be able to be comfortable with our discomfort. I hate that I myself have become infected by this happiness and positivity conditioning. Even knowing what I know, when I feel miserable I feel guilty! Like I am doing something bad! I should be happier! I should be more grateful! I am doing something wrong and something bad will happen as a result. What a terrible way to think and feel. There is nothing wrong with being miserable. It is the acceptance of misery which leads to inner peace, not the denial of it. It is accepting that one does not feel inner peace which leads to authentic inner peace. We are all so messed up in America. We have been bought and sold. Packaged by corporations who are selling happiness and positivity. The need to be happy and positive is a terrible affliction. As long as we seek happiness and positivity but feel guilty and ashamed when we are miserable, inner peace will always elude us. Let yourself feel miserable. It is ok. It is a noble emotion. A lot of great art and thought comes from misery. (What interesting thought or art comes from happiness and positivity?) Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just let yourself feel it and stop feeling guilty about it. You are ok.