Dear JOLT Reader:
Ever since I got pregnant, I’ve found it much harder to maintain a happy mood. And while is common for many new mothers, it has me contemplating. As I sit in my house and listen to the nearby neighbor's music blasting, all I keep thinking is that I wish that I just felt like getting up to dance along.
So, I started thinking about why I don’t. Why I won’t just get up, grab the baby in my arms, and start our own private party. But, no matter how much I think about it, I just come up with the answer that I don’t want to. I don’t want to feel better right now, I don’t want to put in the minimal work it would take to shift my mood, and I don’t want to be okay with my life the way it is.
Of course, this doesn't make any sense. I can let go of my angst for a little while, and allow myself the freedom to just enjoy the moment, but often I don’t. I choose to remain unhappy, on purpose.
And while this seems insane on the surface, I believe this decision is a fairly common one. It’s spurred on by our belief that happiness should only occur when everything is going right. That until all the pieces are in place, it’s somehow wrong for us to smile. That by choosing to be happy, we are somehow condoning the unpleasant circumstances that we presently face.
For me, it primarily comes down to money. Or, more specifically, the way in which I want to make money versus the way I generally make money. I have been working to create steady, sustainable income from home for years, but things still haven’t seemed to have worked out. Obviously, I’m doing something wrong but, in a way, that’s entirely irrelevant.
I often continue to choose to focus on how things aren’t turning out as planned, instead of enjoying the journey. I continue to put pressure on myself to figure it out now, rather than offer myself the freedom to play with the process and find the path that works for me. Why do I do this? Because I feel like I should, but also because I’m terrified that it never will actually work out. Why am I terrified? Because I don’t believe that I can be happy any other way.
It always comes back to happiness.
And, ironically, especially given neighbor’s music and my daydream about wanting to dance, happiness really isn’t that hard to come by. Happiness is the default mood that we embrace once we put down our self-imposed burdens. The moment we decide to stop worrying about the problems of tomorrow, the pressure lifts and we breathe easily once more.
I am usually the reason for my own unhappiness. I regularly choose to block my own joy. Sure, a lot of it is probably habit and training, but that doesn’t change the facts. And, if you take a look at your own life, you will likely discover the same.
We all need to get better a letting go of the struggle and pain. It’s not helping us at all. I know that it’s challenging, that we worry that if we stop fighting, we’ll never get what we want. But, if happiness waits in the wings, is that eventuality really so bad?
So, for today, why don’t we all try to let go for just one moment.
Take a deep breath, imagine the weights that furrow your brow and bend your back are lifting, and listen to the world around you.
This moment is a beautiful thing if you take the time to recognize it.
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