Do You Downplay Your Joy?
Over the course of my lifetime I’ve often downplayed my happiness and success. When I bought my second home I was hesitant to tell my friends and family about it. When I was promoted at work I decided to keep the news to myself. When I found out I was pregnant with my son I kept it a secret from all but two people for nearly four months.
My life is absolutely amazing. I am happily married to a man who is the yin to my yang. I have an amazingly easy and happy baby who I stay home with every day. Minus some lingering issues I am in fairly good health. My parents are both alive and still happily married. I am close to my ninety year old grandmother who is still functional and thriving.
I’m not saying my life is perfect, far from it, but in a world full of so many problems why does my life seem so easy? I often feel guilty about it. I tell my friends that I feel bad that my brother’s life isn’t as easy as mine. That I was born with a happy-go-lucky spirit while he was born with a down-in-the-dumps demeanor.
I tell people I’m lucky to have this-that-and-the-other-thing rather than acknowledging the fact that my husband and I have worked hard to achieve our success. I always downplay the work we’ve put into our lives. There are people in much more difficult, physically grueling lines of work then my husband and I. It seems strange to say we’ve worked hard when I’ve witnessed people truly working hard high on roofs, in heat or trudging heavy supplies and equipment.
I’ve never verbalized this before, but I suppose I feel unworthy of such happiness. Do I deserve to feel such joy? When others are struggling why am I so happy and fulfilled?
I am very grateful for all that I have, but I guess I’m always worried that something will happen to make it all go away. As crazy as it sounds I’m nervous typing this into my computer right now. If I tell people just how wonderful I feel, will it all go away?
I have friends and family who are perpetual worriers. They believe that every time something good happens something bad is sure to follow. I suppose some of that belief has rubbed off on me.
The joy in my world is so great that sometimes it makes my heart hurt. It’s those little moments. You know the ones. Like when my son plays hide-and-seek and runs out from behind the furniture when he hears me coming to get him. When my husband scoops ice cream, drizzles chocolate over the top along with brightly colored sprinkles and brings it to me while I sit in the living room. Or how about the sound of my son giggling for absolutely no reason from the back of the car. It’s a sound that immediately makes me smile and melts my heart.
I try my best to allow these moments to absorb into me. To pause and let the light shine into my heart and soul. To take a mental snapshot so I won’t forget how wonderful all of these tiny, every day moments feel.
I am grateful for all that I have and I thank my lucky stars every night for all that I have been blessed with, but as I count my blessings I sometimes wonder how long this joy can last. Am I the only one who worries that happiness can be short lived?