One of the hardest human struggles we face is simultaneously experiencing joy and suffering. There is no secret way to avoid problems or hard times. We will face them eventually whether it’s a relationship failing, markets changing, parents aging or our children struggling. What we need to maintain joy in spite of our external challenges is to cultivate a deep sense of knowing everything will eventually be okay. We must adopt the right mindset so that when hard times hit, we can defend and soothe ourselves against anxiety, fear and doubt.
Most people process emotions one of two ways. They either make themselves numb to their emotions and can easily distract themselves from feeling anything or they become too emotional and are unable to handle anything else. I used to be an expert at being numb. No matter what happened, I found a way to think myself out of it. My boyfriend could cheat on me, I could lose a client or my mom could be diagnosed with dementia and I would quickly create a plan of attack to distract myself. My memories of anything bad happening were limited until I finally made a decision to start feeling more. No matter what category you find yourself in you can choose at anytime to start owning your joy regardless of what life throws at you. Before you do this, it is important to define exactly what joy is.
Joy is different than happiness in that it doesn’t depend on anything external to exist. Think of happiness as a thunderstorm that eventually passes, where joy is a river that never stops flowing. The challenge with joy though is we can block it like a beaver blocks a dam. We do this in one of three ways. We have stories or experiences that we haven’t healed that show up subconsciously. This can stop the flow of joy because we aren’t as present and we suddenly experience old programming. We throw up walls quickly and are unable to remain open to whatever we are experiencing. Loneliness or isolation can also stop it. A recent study by UCLA shows nearly half of Americans feeling alone and 27% feel they aren’t understood. When we close ourselves off because we feel no one will understand, joy is also cut off. The third block is not believing in a higher power or that what we envision for our life matters. If you don’t have a deep belief that God or the Universe will support your purpose and that whatever you are going through will help you actualize it, you won’t maintain joy. Once you realize you have blocks, you just need to set the intention to remove them. It may require help from someone to do this so that any of these blocks don’t stop the flow of joy in your life.
Now that you understand what joy is, how can you own it? How can you create a life experience where triggers and external situations cannot affect you. I invite you to dig into creating this life in our “Write a New Story” course that is being offered for a limited time at $49. You will create your life vision and ensure that no one steals your joy again!