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What Keeps You from Celebrating Your Joy?

This week has been a really good week.  In all honesty, it has been one of the best weeks I have had in a while.   For a variety of reasons, I have just had a lot of positive things happen, some of it is the fruit of a lot of work and some of it is luck or the universe or something like that.  Plus in 3 days I leave with my nearest and dearest to sunny Costa Rica for 7 days!  Considering we have 2 feet of snow on the ground and are now in our 3rd week of temps under 32 this is a blessed event!  So in summary:  a really good week.

You would think I have been leaping from the ceiling, dancing a jig, smiling from ear to ear all week.  But no, I have been spending much of the week vacillating between holding myself back from celebrating and reminding myself how important it is to celebrate.  I realized that I am struggling to celebrate the joy of the week. As much as  I hate to admit it I also realized in some ways I am almost more comfortable when things aren’t going so well.  When I have something to strive for or work towards, when I am in struggle.  How crazy is that?!!?

So I started throwing the question out to friends/acquaintances this week how do you celebrate your joy? What do you do when things are going well?  This question has led to some interesting discussions and exposed some fascinating beliefs about celebrating happiness.  I realized, I am not alone in my struggle to celebrate my joy.  If my life mission is to help people live happier, then we need to have the ability to recognize and celebrate when we are in fact happy!!!!

Below are the major beliefs people have around celebrating when things go well.

Our Happiness Days are Limited Belief:  If we celebrate that things are going well they will immediately stop going well.  It is as if the universe is watching us and if he/she knows that we are happy he/she will immediately take it away.  Or another popular theory, we only have a finite number of days we can truly be happy so you don’t want to waste those days on minor celebrations.

Our Happiness Might Make Others Feel Bad Belief:  The second most popular belief revolves around humility.  If we celebrate our happiness and joy we basically make other feel like crap and that just isn’t nice.  So if our life is going particularly well we need to not celebrate it for fear that we will make other people feel less good about their own lives.

You’ll Eventually Get Smacked Down Again Belief:   And finally: you shouldn’t celebrate happiness because life always brings you back to reality. Eventually something bad will happen (e.g. I will return to the cold and snow after my vacation) so you might as well just keep yourself on the flat even road of life rather than ride the roller coasters of ups and downs

As I talked with people about these beliefs and even as I write them now I am amazed at the craziness of them–seriously, a limited number of days?  But I admit, crazy or not  I have internalized these beliefs too. So I am going to debunk them as best I can.

Our Happiness Days are Limited Belief:  The universe is not out to get us.  This belief’s foundation comes from the idea that we are alloted a certain number of days to be happy–that true growth comes from suffering.  While I believe we learn from suffering we also learn from joy.  We learn from happiness and celebration!  The universe has better things to do then keep us in check on our joy levels, in fact I believe the universe would be better off if there were more joyful celebrations out there.

Our Happiness Might Make Others Feel Bad Belief: This belief is a solid one for me, I struggle with celebrating too much because it might make others feel bad.  But in reality my happiness and their happiness are not linked at all.  When someone close to me is having a really good day or gets to do something really fun, I don’t feel bad, in fact I feel happier because they are happier.  If I do get jealous or envious, that is about me and my need to take a trip of live a dream not because THEY are too happy.  I am not responsible for someone else’s happiness.

You’ll Eventually Get Smacked Down Again Belief: As I always say living happier is about experience a wide range of emotions, it is about feeling the joy and the celebration and about experiencing the grief and sadness.  Life is a roller coaster and which means it is an exhilarating, exhausting, scary, fun, thrilling, nauseating ride.  It is a ride.  So yes, I might be experiencing pain in the upcoming months so why does it follow that I shouldn’t experience joy.  In reality, preventing myself from feeling joy doesn’t make the pain any less painful–it just means I didn’t get the thrill of experiencing my joy.

So there you have it–my ‘what keeps you from celebrating your joy’ social experiment.  Now I am going to throw the question out to you–do you struggle to celebrate your joy?  What are your beliefs around this concept?

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