Sometimes I get scared of being too happy. When I say it out loud, it almost doesn’t make sense to me. It sounds like I am complaining about something ridiculous, or something that is far too good to be true. But the thing is, I don’t think I’m the only one out there who feels this way. I don’t think I’m the only one who is afraid to be happy – afraid to embrace this freedom. My fear of becoming too happy is not a fear of the happiness itself, not at all.
Rather, my fear of happiness stems from a deeper fear of the validity of my happiness and the causation of my happiness. Why I am so happy…and what will happen when the happiness ends? I think the root of this for many of us comes down to a lack of self-care. See, we don’t always believe that we are worthy of happiness, or that we deserve to be happy if we don’t have a reason. We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t need to be earned or bought, it doesn’t need to be backed up by facts. But when our train of thought begins to go the wrong way, we eventually conclude that we should not be this happy.
When we feel very low, and I mean low as in that place we go to when we are all alone, we become convinced that we will never feel happy again. Because why would we? In these very hopeless moments, we don’t even remember what it feels like to be happy or to be at peace – we can’t think of anything to be happy about. All we can see is gray; sadness and loneliness. And this way of seeing the world is our reality – it is what we believe in the moment. Because of this, we don’t understand how we could be happy, if we are capable of having these thoughts. The truths behind the thoughts haven’t changed, right? Our external situation hasn’t changed. So how could we feel happiness if we still have the same worries and anxieties?
We tell ourselves that we can’t truly be happy if these thoughts we have had when we are sad are true. This leads us into a circle – when we start to feel happy again, we worry about why we were so depressed. When we are happy, we convince ourselves that we must be forgetting about all of the sad parts of life, we must be oblivious to the real problems and pains. We believe that our happiness is fake, because all of the hard parts of life still exist, and we should probably start worrying about them again. So, as you might know by now, the anxiety returns.
It’s sad to me that so many of us feel that way. Suddenly our highest state of happiness is tainted with fear. “How can I be happy when I was so sad?” “How can I be happy if just yesterday I was miserable, and thought everything was wrong?”
It doesn’t have to be like this for you.
Our minds convince us to be fearful of happiness. Our minds try to talk us back down by doubting our happiness – by telling us that we shouldn’t be happy. But this is not the way it should be, and it’s definitely not the way it has to be. It’s completely understandable if you become uneasy about happiness. After all, you know that happiness comes and goes. But you have to remember that sadness comes and goes as well. No feelings are here to stay. So why would you want to waste our happiest moments worrying about sadness when we are happy? You don’t need to. Instead, you need to start to trust yourself again. You need to start validating your emotions, but understanding that they will pass. You have to remind yourself that it’s okay to be happy right now, even if you won’t feel this high forever. You have to remember that if you are sad, it’s okay too. The sadness won’t stay forever.
So please – give yourself permission to accept your happiness rather than question it.
Give yourself permission to be joyful beyond measure without worrying about when this joy will end. Next time you feel happy, instead of panicking about when the happiness will end, write down all of the things that are making you happy. Write down anything that makes you smile. Write down why you don’t feel bad – why you feel so alive. Write it all out. And do this freely and do this often.
Because eventually, you will be able to flip things around. Instead of falling into sadness when you are happy, you will one day fall into happiness when you are sad. You will one day learn that sadness is fleeting, and that there are a million and one reasons to still choose happiness. You see, one day you alone will be able to talk to your sad self – to comfort yourself in the hard times. You will be able to tell yourself that you don’t need to be afraid, as these hard times? These hard times will pass. This sadness? This too will pass, and soon you will be okay.