Are You Afraid of Joy?

Once you see it, you see it everywhere. How we hold ourselves back from joy because we’re afraid what might happen if we get ‘too joyful’ and because we don’t believe we deserve it yet. Would you like to live aligned with joy instead of afraid?

It might sound like a ridiculous question but I’ve discovered most of us are afraid of joy, in case…
In case I get giddy and carried away.
In case I do something stupid.
In case someone takes me the wrong way.
In case I look childish.
In case the joy comes before a fall.
In case I get in trouble for being too happy.
In case…

And most of us are afraid of joy because we think we have to deserve it first…
But have I done enough?
Will I be told — ‘no, you don’t deserve that’?
Will I be caught out?
Do I need to know more, learn more, do more, be more?
Does my body need to be different?
Or my house, or car, or kids?
Have I done enough to deserve joy?

This is all topsy turvey. Because we are joyfulness already. And so the ultimate joy being looked for is the joy of your being. Cultivate that and ideas of deserving and fears of what might happen dissipate from view.

Here’s a beautiful piece to illuminate this truth, and it’s in honour of Tina Turner. Tina is someone who’s music I didn’t love but who I love as a fellow human, and feel sadness with her passing. I also want to share gratitude for the ripple effect of life that brought this to me: first shared by a man called Marcus Owen in this Facebook group, and then my friend and co-explorer Nicky Drew reposted it. Here’s Owen:

“RIP, Tina Turner ❤️

In 2020, Turner said that that despite having serious health problems, the last 10 years of her life had embodied her ideal vision of happiness.

“I found happiness because I desire nothing. It’s a happiness I never knew existed. In the past, happiness was, ‘Oh I bought a dress!’ ‘Oh have this car!’ It was all material things. Now I get up in the morning and meditate. Inside, a feeling of wellness where you’re sitting there, just where you want to be. There’s nothing you want.

People think when you’re on stage, that they are your glory days. The lights, the clothes…

They were not my glory days. These, now, are my glory days.”

“True and lasting happiness comes from an unshakeable spirit that can shine, no matter what.”

I encourage you to read that again, and consider in what ways you are holding joy at arms length, imagining you have to earn or deserve it first. Imagining that too much of it is a bad thing.

I’ll be back soon to share more on this theme of our fear of joy.

With peace, love and joy; Helen

If this has landed for you todaytell me what you’ve realised. Or book us a call to talk more deeply.

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