All emotions have a counter emotion. Happiness has a counter emotion of sadness, excited has nervous, entertained has bored and so on. However, without one we would never be able to feel the other. A couple of months ago I heard a quote "pain demands to be felt". I feel like it is a John Green quote from the Fault In Our Stars but I'm not entirely sure.
Wherever it was that I heard the quote, it has stuck with me up until now because it has always seemed raw and true. Pain demands to be felt no matter what. It pushes at our emotions until we feel the full force of it whether it is mentally or physically.
In order to know what happiness feels like, we need to experience pain; both on a physical and a mental scale. Without pain we would never be grateful for the good times/things in the world because we wouldn't know the difference. Today, I realised that in order for me to be grateful for even the smallest things which make me happy, I need to also acknowledge and experience pain.
To me, I see pain as an emotion that will not go away until I accept the full reality of why I am feeling this way, only then can the counter emotion of happiness begin to fill my life again. Pain can come for any reason at any time. It doesn't necessarily mean that I am crouched over from an injury, it can be that I am simply thinking thoughts that cannot be classified as 'happy thoughts'. Pain can last for an extended period of time, or it can last for just a moment. Pain demands to be felt in both big and small ways.