To Make my Own Joy, I Must Dig my Own Well
There are people for whom it’s really difficult to feel good. Feeling good for them is almost like an allergy or phobia created and sustained by mechanisms that are rarely conscious. They are strangers to the feeling, from which they want to escape rather than explore. They may have had a difficult childhood, believe that they do not deserve joy, or are perfectionists. Whatever the reason, they are unable to enjoy joy.
They feel that they are in serious danger. If they find themselves getting used to joy they feel that it will disappear soon. They are incapable of conceiving life as anything other than a struggle or suffering. If they’re not fighting for something, gritting their teeth, if their muscles aren’t tense, something is wrong.
Joy that does not belong to me
Before it was more frequent to deny joy. For example, when a person from a lower social class gained access to a higher one. Especially if their access was unstable. They showed resistance to enjoying the privileges they had reached or that had been granted by fortune. There was an idea that you are born into the class in which you die, and that any change, even if it is for the better, was almost impossible. It was a practical matter in many cases, but also mental.
When some people don’t have something to worry about, they are experts at looking for problems and focusing on them. The same thing happens with pain. When we have one large pain, we don’t fix the small ones. There are people who constantly scan their bodies because they constantly believe they have a serious illness, like cancer.
They are people who feel much more comfortable in the role of the victim, the oppressed or the punching bag than in a role of a winner or a leader. That is why you will rarely see them celebrating something. They will always find a reason to be sad.
For them, pity is their most powerful weapon to ensure company. It is their consolation and they are not willing to give it up, no matter how much joy is in their life.
On the other hand, their role as permanent victims gives them a valid justification to not fulfill certain commitments beyond not participating in the joys of life. They hide in their small pain or in grief that never tires in order to avoid certain things.
How can I worry about others if I feel so bad? If I am the one who always feels bad and the one with the worst and most tragic problems? What would happen if I helped others and got used to it?
Fear of joy
Fear. That is the emotion. Fear of:
- loneliness, fear of not being able to be independent, fear of failing others, fear of being sad, fear of dealing with dreams that now seem possible.
- looking down and see how far down, fear of looking up and seeing how far up.
- finding our limits, of being stupid.
- enjoying the joys of life and good feelings.
All these fears disappear if we are numb to them, when we do not move too much, when we do not enjoy too much. When we do not hope for joy for the fear of opening up a well we could fall down exists. We feel better when we are conservative, when we do not generate expectations so as not to disappoint ourselves. This is something we have all done at some time to protect ourselves, even defending it in our speech …
…while we had the feeling that it was an intelligent strategy to face life with. But it’s a fickle player and it is always changing your cards. All of them, in an instant, and now you can’t play.
Joys can only appear when we liberate ourselves and surrender to the experience. When we have faith that, whatever the cards are that life gives us, we will know how to play them and enjoy that game. It’s not about surviving, it’s about living. Mentally it’s a necessary step, but it is very difficult that one day we assume that enjoying what is positive will not diminish the fortune that life has reserved for us.