Most people have heard the saying, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”. But, I believe this holds true for everyone in almost every situation.
Happiness has been poked and prodded for years. It has been studied by scientists, theologians, and scholars. There are books, songs, shirts, and Pinterest quotes, you name it, all in search of ways to be happy.
I google everything! When I googled ‘how many times is the word happy mentioned in the Bible’, I found the following response, “Depending on the translation, the Bible uses the words “happy” and “happiness” about 30 times”. When I googled ‘how many times is the word sad mentioned in the Bible’, the top responses were not numbers, but pages of Bible verses! God knew life was going to be hard for us! He gave us a belly full of emotions, not just a happy emotion. We are not meant to feel happy all of the time!
So why are we so uncomfortable with our other emotions and the emotions of those around us? Why do we tell our kids not to feel sad, angry, or frustrated? Why as a 6 year old child who had a father die did I feel like I needed to spare those around me the feelings of sadness? How do we know at such a young age that it is better to just put a smile on our face and pretend that everything is ok? Life is hard, sad, and frustrating at times. But, when we hold back those emotions it only makes us feel even more sad, mad, and frustrated!
It has taken me all of this time and the help of a very special friend to understand that feelings aren’t right or wrong, they just are. This may sound very simplistic to you, but if you have had loss, sorrow, and pain in your life you understand not wanting anything to do with the “bad” emotions that accompany these events. But, in truth when we honor our worst emotions, it frees up space for more happiness.
In writing Eden and Her Happy I tackled the uncomfortable feeling of our other emotions. Eden hopefully opens a pathway for parents and teachers to talk to children about their emotions. And children will hopefully become more comfortable with understanding their “Happy” can never leave them, but they do need to give other emotions their turn.
I have received many letters from the classrooms I have visited, here’s what kids are saying:
Dear Mrs. Schlepphorst,
-Thank you for visiting our class. I learned that sometimes other feelings have to take happies place and you sometimes won’t see happy. (2nd grader)
-I learned you don’t always have to be happy. (3rd grader)
-Now I know my happy is always inside of me. (1st grader)
-Someday I want to be an author just like you. (2nd grader)
I had to throw the author just like you one in for fun. I will always cherish my notes and messages from kids. I love that parents, teachers, and counselors are using my book as a tool. I love that kids love Eden! I love that the kids I have met are so eager to tell me what they know about emotions. Want to play a fun game with your child? Ask them to show you their best mad, sad, frustrated, lonely, or happy face!
If you are looking for a way to help children better understand their emotions, please order your copy of Eden and Her Happy today!
Happy is on the inside!