You deserve to be happy because you are alive. Not in the classic, cliché sense but in a core, biological fashion. You were built to use happiness as a tool to evaluate the world that surrounds you. It’s in your genes, in your nature, in the way that have functioned since you were too young to know better. Happiness is at the core of our experiences – it is as incomprehensible to deny ourselves the feeling as it is to deny ourselves the experience of eating or sleeping or breathing. We are human beings and happiness is a vital part of our survival.
You deserve to be happy because your pain is not useful to anyone. The more we grieve and suffer, the less we grow. The less we connect. The less we push ourselves to become bigger and better versions of the people we are capable of becoming. When we are miserable, we shrink into the second-rate versions of ourselves. When we are happy, we thrive. We envelope. We burn brightly enough to light up those around us, and our lives take on a stronger, more meaningful purpose.
You deserve to be happy because you are not your past. You are not the choices you made or the chances you took when you didn’t know better than to take them. You deserve to be happy because the past cannot be altered but the future’s still wide open. There are a thousand better roads left to walk down. You deserve to be happy because the people who have made the most mistakes have the greatest capacity to warn others away from those wrong paths.
You deserve to be happy because there is no sense in not being yourself. The more you hide, the more you quiver, the more you retreat into the quiet recesses of existence, the more you deny the world the power that’s within you. And the world deserves that power. It deserves the inspiration of people who come alive through what they hope for. The people who fight the longest and love the strongest and try the hardest. The people who end up creating change: Be it artistically or technically or ever so slowly and persistently. The world doesn’t need people half-fulfilling someone else’s dream: It needs people who are fully embodying their own.
You deserve to be happy because the voice in your head telling you otherwise is fear. And fear has no concept of the truth. The truth is that happiness wants you – in all of your flawed, imperfect glory. It wants you to come as you are, leave your baggage at the door and take a chance on becoming more yourself – the version that you’ve always been too scared to be. You deserve to be happy because happy people make their lives matter – and what else can we ask for than that.