“I was, if I am being honest, afraid to truly be happy and to share that happiness.”
-An upcoming blog post
There’s this post in my draft box that gets revised countless times in a week, and God willing, someday soon you’ll read it. As I re-read that post for the millionth time, that line above jumped off the screen and into my soul. How often are we afraid to be truly happy? Far too often, I think. In fact, I was re-reading some of my old journal entries not long ago and was struck by this same sentiment over and over again. I’ve journaled about it and prayed about it, yet so often I’m afraid to truly let myself be happy, much less to share that happiness. Sad, isn’t it?
We all do it though, we all fear being happy. Even when we allow ourselves some momentary happiness, we rarely let that happiness take root in our souls. Rather, we stuff it away, letting the joy last only for a moment. We let ourselves believe that if we were to remain happy, something or someone would come along and crush our happiness. We fear so many things: the happiness ending, people judging our happiness, others being jealous of our happiness. When we write it out or admit out loud that we are afraid of being happy it sounds as ridiculous as it should. Who fears being happy? We all do. We fear it for reasons that are our own, but when it comes down to it, we fear happiness for the same reason: we fear the aftermath of it.
Life, and the many struggles we’ve experienced so far, have taught us that happiness rarely lasts. If, then, it doesn’t last, why should we let happiness and joy seep into our souls? If we only let happiness scratch the surface of the walls we’ve built around our hearts, then the pain won’t be so deep if/when it ends. The painful truth, however, is this: if we don’t let happiness and joy penetrate our souls, then it isn’t true happiness or joy. Furthermore, if we fail to let happiness and joy in, we fail to let God – the source of happiness and joy – into our hearts and souls as well.
The world, as we can tell by turning on the evening news, doesn’t need more violence or hate. The world needs more happy. Today (and every day), give yourself permission to be happy. I’m not talking about some surface level happiness, I’m talking about the kind of happiness that reaches your soul, turns to joy, and puts a smile on your face that can’t be wiped away. Don’t fear people judging you or being jealous of your happiness, just infect them with your joy. Life is tough enough as it is without being afraid to be happy. So be happy. Be joyful. The world needs your happiness and your joy. More importantly, that happiness and joy – especially when we embrace it and give it roots in our souls – points to the joyful, happy heart of God. God desires your happiness and joy, it is His gift to you. Share it.