When you experience loss and heartbreak, the sky can feel like it will always be gray, and the sun can seem as if it will never shine again. It’s easy to slip into darkness and despair and forget the sound of laughter. It’s easy to forget what happiness feels like, too.
When loss strikes and your heart breaks, it can seem like you’re never going to know what happiness feels like ever again. Joy is a distant memory, and all you do is go over the past. You retrace your steps and try to figure out where you went wrong, or how it all went so badly, or how you ended up with such pain.
Maybe you even beat yourself up about it, and you convince yourself that you deserve this empty feeling and this pain and that it’s somehow a state that you must live in forever.
I hope you don’t feel that way, I really do.
But if you’re reading this and nodding your head yes, and if you feel like those words are true, and that the overwhelming sadness is going to stick with you for the rest of your life, I hope you know that you’re wrong.
You are so very wrong.
You are allowed to be joyful again. You are allowed to laugh again.
The sun will shine again.
And you are allowed to be happy again.
Yes, even you.
It’s okay to let yourself embrace happiness. It’s okay to hold hands with joy. The pain and the breaks of your past have brought you to this moment, and there is no denying that. That can never be denied, and embracing happiness doesn’t erase what you went through. But you don’t have to sit with your pain all alone. You don’t have to let your wounds stay open and raw. You don’t have to keep punishing yourself for whatever went wrong and however your heart broke.
You’re allowed to be happy again.
Maybe your loss is the kind of loss that you carry with you. Maybe it’s so unimaginably huge that it forces you to see the world through new eyes, and hear sounds with new ears, and feel things in a way that you never knew was possible.
And you know what? That’s okay. That new normal, it’s okay. It’s okay to navigate this life differently after you experience pain, but that newness doesn’t mean that you have to stop yourself from feeling joy. It doesn’t mean you have to eschew happiness, either.
Just because happiness left you once, doesn’t mean it’s not able to find you again. You’re allowed to feel pain, and you’re allowed to feel pleasure — you don’t have to choose.
You’re allowed to feel happy again.
You’re allowed to feel it all.