Why Is Choosing Joy and Happiness So Difficult?
Okay, so picture this. You get diagnosed with a chronic condition and are told that you would just have to learn to live with the pain, lose your dream job, suffer relentless years of pain and anxiety, lose friends, and lose the amazing life you once had.
However, years later you regain your health, find a new passion, land a job that you adore more than the one you had, have a new level of gratitude and appreciation for everything in life, travel the world again, and have everything you could ever want in your life and one hundred times more. And yet, you somehow find it very hard to accept your newfound happiness!
I know, sounds strange right? You would think that once it arrives you would take to it like a duck to water.
Unfortunately for me, it has been much more challenging than that.
Don’t get me wrong, I cannot explain to you how incredible it feels to have everything that I have worked so hard for, and I am overwhelmingly happy right now. But recently I have found myself picking fights for no reason, making drama out of absolutely nothing, and creating stress for myself.
Meet my old friend self-sabotage.
Self-sabotage creeps up in the dark and tries to go unnoticed. It loves to sidetrack you just as life seems to be going well and knock you off course.
Fortunately for me, however, along this healing journey I have developed a strong sense of self-awareness. So as soon as the self-sabotage behaviors started to kick in, I noticed them and could do something about them.
I found myself journaling on this and digging deeper which helped me make some important discoveries.
So these are reasons why, in my opinion, we struggle to choose happiness and joy.
It can be as simple as that. When you have experienced something for a long time, even if it is a painful chronic illness, it becomes comfortable. And we humans love routine and familiarity. Change is scary, even when it’s a positive change. So sometimes we naturally head back to what we know and what feels comfortable to us, even if in my case that means drama, negativity, and unhappy emotions.
2. Low self-worth
As much as we say that we deserve happiness, do we truly and deeply feel that we deserve it? Because if we do not believe that we are worthy of happiness and joy, then when it arrives we are most likely going to subconsciously sabotage ourselves because of our core beliefs.
For me, I know that I am worthy of happiness and I am worthy of joy. However, if I am being honest, deep down I know I struggle with self-worth and this stems from never feeling good enough compared to those around me. This is something that I still need to work on.
When everything in your life starts going well and you have this newfound happiness, part of you may start to fear that your it all might disappear at any time! What if something awful happens? What if suddenly I get sick again? What if someone in my family gets sick?
I think we self-sabotage out of fear of something going wrong. Surely life can’t be this good? But letting go of that fear is key. I am currently learning to let go of the fear and anxiety, deal with every new day as it comes, and be in the moment.
Yes, life really is this beautiful, if I just allow it to be.