Fear of Joy


Following your joy can feel foreign or even scary, especially if you’re used to policing or censoring yourself. This can happen when we use the responses of other people to guide what we say and do. You might do this when you tell yourself, “I shouldn’t express my strong feelings of love, because they may not be received well.” You might worry your relationship is too good to be true. Self-policing can trickle into the smaller, everyday things you do. You might stop yourself from having that second cup of coffee in the morning, not because you believe it’s bad for you, but because someone else told you it is.

Whenever you stop yourself from doing what feels good because it seems more logical, or you’re comparing yourself to others, you’re cutting yourself off from your Source. I have found that I do this any time I stop to wonder, “What will people think?” We all do it, but the degree to which we do it is something to consider.

Right and wrong are not worked out solely in the thinking mind, but also in the heart. If an idea makes you feel good, or you feel no need to hesitate before enacting it, then it’s a good move. If you feel overly anxious, like it’s not the right time, or you’re focused on limitations, it might need to cook for a while longer. Ideally, the heart and mind should work in tandem with one another. Many of us have an imbalance when it comes to the importance we place on one or the other.

We police ourselves in a lot of ways, sometimes without knowing. I used to look at the news first thing in the morning or reply to work e-mails as soon as I opened my eyes. This was when I believed that stress and suffering were necessary parts of life. They may be inevitable at times, but they are not required parts of our experience. They are not our “amount due” in exchange for a good time. Life is much better when we follow the bread crumb trail of what feels good and deal with limitations or “hiccups” as they come, when we’re in the right mindset to handle them productively.

We tell ourselves it is irresponsible to have too much fun, to have peace. We believe we’ll have to pay the piper if we have too much of the good stuff. We shut down on others and cut ourselves off from love when we fear grief.

Now, to go off on a small tangent on grief… I’ve seen quotes about how it is the price we pay for love. I agree, but only because we’re human and perceive separation as truth. We’re not always open to communication from those in the non-physical, and we perceive them as being gone. Otherwise, there would be no grief. Love does not come with a price, although it may seem so from a human perspective. There are things we do for those we love that may sometimes stray far from the norm. Some might declare these things inconveniences. This is all in how you’re choosing to look at things. As for me, I’d like to banish words such as “sacrifice” and “inconvenience” from my vocabulary.

You might wonder, “What if doing what feels good leads to overindulgence?” The good feelings that are purely from our Source, Higher Self, etc. do not motivate us to do things in excess or seek numbing agents. These activities may be drinking alcohol, shopping, eating, etc. When aligned and feeling good, knowing exactly who you are, you might choose to gamble or have a few drinks. But there isn’t this need to go overboard, numb, or lose yourself when you’re coming from a place of balance and wholeness. You can do anything or be with anybody when you come from that place.

Dwelling on what has felt or gone awry in the past can also take you off your bread crumb trail. I have done a lot of dwelling in my life; I’ve gotten some great poetry out of it. Other times, I got nothing from it except another sleepless night. Keeping certain thoughts active brought only more pain. I thought about people who had done things that hurt me, things I couldn’t understand. The more thinking, talking, and writing I did about them, the longer I was stuck in that energy, perpetuating it.

There is a difference between constructive remembering and dwelling. When you feel like dwelling, there is also a difference between stuffing unpleasant feelings and simply dropping what feels too heavy to hold in that moment. You can be aware of how something makes you feel and learn from it without reliving it for a long time. What helps me move forward from a painful experience is knowing that the lessons of the past brought me to a place where I can fully appreciate my present and attract better experiences.

Your life is yours, and no one spends as much time with your feelings and choices as you do. If they did, they might not be questioning you so much.  Joy is a well-deserved reward that comes to you when you apply the lessons you’ve learned from the past. There is no limited supply of it, and the heart and mind are not enemies.

Do not waste one moment in regret, for to think feelingly of the mistakes of the past is to reinfect yourself. “Let the dead bury the dead” [Matthew 8:22; Luke 9:60]. Turn from appearances and assume the feeling that would be yours, were you already the one you wish to be. – Neville Goddard