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Defending Misery at the Expense of our Happiness. REALLY?

Are you serious, defending misery at the expense of happiness? Who would do that? Why would someone do that?

I think you will see why and how as we continue this discussion. But first, let’s look at what is meant by misery. An official definition of misery according to is: a state of great unhappiness and emotional distress.

When asked what one wants most out of life, a common response is, “I just want to be happy.” Does this mean that most folks are unhappy or that they believe they could be happier? And if they are unhappy and know it, why don’t they do something to change?

And misery, why would someone defend their misery? Why would someone fight to be unhappy? Why would someone deny themselves the experience of life they say they desire?

Misery results from the sameness, the mundane of everyday life, the feeling of being stuck with things as they are with no way out. It is holding onto a belief (belief system) that certain things have to be done out of obligation or responsibility and therefore the experiences we truly desire are put on the so-called backburner.

It is also the feeling of hopelessness that is experienced when we look around the world at the events unfolding not knowing what, if anything, to do.

Yes, there are things to which we have made a commitment, like supporting our family, showing up at work each day, paying our bills, etc., but this is not the limit of who we are and what we have available to us.

The primary cause of misery is Self-denial. An unwillingness to allow for the full expression and experience of who we truly are that is persistent in its desire to be expressed. We will experience times of fear, grief, loss and sadness, all of which are integral to the human experience.

However, misery results from claiming these experiences and emotions as our life, instead of recognizing that life is the experiencing and expressing of our Self within the context of the events of life.

Life is limitless in what it offers as the means for the expression and experience of our Self. We are the ultimate authority in our own lives and are always at a point of choice. Therefore, we have the power to choose how we will experience life, even when it comes to choosing happiness over misery, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

Henry David Thoreau summed it up beautifully in his quote:

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and
go to the grave with their song still in them.”


Your song is the expression of your true Self in whatever form you choose to express. What is the song within you that is waiting to be sung? What are you inspired to do or be that would bring you the experience of joy and happiness you long for, but for “your” reasons you choose not to give yourself permission to experience?

As you answer the question, ask why you have not granted yourself permission? The answers will help identify the ways you defend your misery at the expense of your happiness.

Some examples might be:

I can’t because……Fill in the blank. How you complete this statement is a defense of your misery.

Remaining where I am easier or more convenient than what I “believe” is necessary to move on. And yet, all you need to do is choose to allow the experience of what you desire to experience.

Blaming other people or events for where you are in life instead of taking responsibility. Your life is your life. It is not up to anyone or anything to create the happiness you desire…it is your choice to experience happiness.

Worry and concern… Allowing fear over what might happen, or has happened, to take precedence over what you might create and experience that is in alignment with your Self-expression.

“My life has been full of many terrible misfortunes,
most of which never happened.”-Michel de Montaigne


Not worthy…Living from the belief that this is the life I’ve been given, there is nothing I can do to change it. Others much more deserving than me have the opportunity for happiness, but not me.

Fear of what might be lost in the process instead of excited and joyful about what will be gained. You never lose anything that is in alignment with, and beneficial to, who you are and are in the process of being and experiencing.

Fear of losing the happiness once you gain it.  Every time I gain something it is taken away from me. Understand that happiness is a state of being in this world and is not dependent on anything, any person, or any event.

Uncertainty, fear of the unknown. You become comfortable with the known and are therefore more willing to remain in your misery even though what you don’t know holds the potential for even greater experiences.

Now that you have examples of how you defend your misery, here are a few thoughts on how to move out of misery into full expression and a life of happiness.

Simply choose to. It is always your choice as to how you will experience and express your Self and life.

Trust your inspiration/intuition and your Self knowing you will never be led astray.

Know your song and the “why” for having the desire to sing it.

Know you have nothing to lose by doing so other than the misery you choose to hold on to.

Know that Life, the Universe, doesn’t want you to live in misery. However, it is compelled to support you in whatever choice you make. Choose consciously and wisely.