Give Yourself Permission to Feel Joy
Good morning, lovely YOU!
As I was running some errands earlier today, I noticed how many people seemed to be in a really foul mood. This was juxtaposed with the jolly Christmas music blasting from every radio station and every store.The most joyful time of year doesn’t seem to be very joyful for most people right now.
I get it. Most of us are completely worn out from this Covid business, the lockdowns, not being able to be near our loved ones, financial worries… you name it. But does all of that mean there still isn’t room to feel joy?
She Allowed JOY During Her Darkest Hour
Do you ever have videos show up in your Youtube recommendation feed that really open your eyes or heart? That happened to me last week.
I’m not sure what made me click on this video. The thumbnail was of an attractive middle-aged woman and the title of her video had to do with resilience. I was drawn to it.
She described a time in her life a few years ago when her teenage daughter was dying of a terminal disease. During this period in her life, this woman would always make some time in her week to go to a specific hiking trail near her home and there she would let herself dance wildly. It was how she coped with the unimaginable stress of what was happening in her world, but it was also how she allowed herself to feel joy.
When I heard her tell her story, there was a part of me that felt a little bit of shame. I have been letting myself get so bogged down in negativity lately. What we are living through is unprecedented, and there is something to be said for the power of suggestion. When everyone around you is stressed to the max, it’s just hard not to feel it, too.
But if a woman, in the very depth of despair and darkness was able to ALLOW herself to feel joy, shouldn’t we all be able to do it?
Why We Refuse to Feel Joy
I think there are many different reasons some of us simply refuse to feel joy, even when joy is all around us.
We don’t know it exists
Sadly, there are some people who have never felt joy in their life. If you didn’t grow up feeling much joy, you may not believe it is real.
We don’t feel we deserve it
A lack of self-worth is often a leading cause of darkness. Do you feel you deserve to feel joy and happiness? Or do you think you only deserve to feel negative emotions?
If you are dealing with an illness yourself or if you are caring for a loved one who is very ill, it can be hard to let the joy in. It just doesn’t feel like something you SHOULD feel during such a serious time. Maybe you’ve recently lost a loved one and are grieving. Joy may not feel like something that fits into your life right now. But again I ask, if a mother whose teenage daughter is dying can allow herself to feel joy, shouldn’t we all?
We feel guilty feeling joy when so many others are hurting
There are those kind, sensitive empaths who are so completely aware of how everyone around them is feeling. If so many other people are feeling bad, you may feel guilty for feeling joy. But ultimately, bringing joy to others is a true gift.
We forgot how to feel joy
When we are children, we find joy in just about everything… making a mess with our food, jumping in puddles, bubbles, the sound of a sneeze. We are HARDWIRED to feel JOY. But we forget as we get older how to feel joy and how to have fun.
How to Feel JOY Once Again
The very first thing to do is recognize that life isn’t black and white. Life is infinite possibilities going on all at once. While there may be sadness in your life, there is beauty right there if you only choose to open your eyes and heart to it. I mentioned in my blog post last week that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and the negative in life tends to get all of our attention. Like the bad child that gets all of the parents’ attention when the other 2 angelic children get bupkis.
Understand that you have 100% total control over where you put your attention and focus. You can focus only on the darkness, or you can also recognize the light.
Second, give yourself permission to feel joy, no matter what is going on in your life. That was such a profound gift I was given to hear that woman speak of her dancing in the woods. I now share that gift with you. Again, I ask, if a mother whose teenage daughter is dying of a terminal disease can dance with joy, can’t you?
And finally, do more things in your life that bring you joy. Maybe making meses and jumping in puddles doesn’t do the trick any longer. So what does? Painting? Roller skating? Taking day trips? Use it or lose it. Find things that bring you joy and make sure to make time for them every week.
‘Tis the season to feel joy. Be the joy you want to feel. You’ll feel great and will help others around you feel joy as well.