Why do so many of us have seemingly so much trouble experiencing joy and gratitude? Why do we so often feel more comfortable focusing on what’s WRONG with our lives, rather than enjoying what’s RIGHT? We’re so used to focusing on the wrong parts, the dark parts, the problem areas—it feels safer, feels more like us. We’ve developed an identity around feeling negative or keeping ourselves down and not truly experiencing the joy, wonder, and appreciation that so many parts of our lives warrant.
If you have trouble experiencing true joy and gratitude, ask yourself why… Perhaps you’re afraid. Afraid that if you truly let your guard down to feel joy and gratitude, then you’ll miss something that could hurt you; or maybe you’re afraid of growing complacent, that you’ll lose the motivation to strive if you’re too joyful or appreciative about your life as it is. Or perhaps you feel it’s dangerous to feel and express that sort of power and presence—that you might stand out, be noticed, and that being in the spotlight could make you a target for judgment, jealousy, and eventually abandonment.
If any of these stories are at play in your mind, I ask you: How’s it working? How’s your level of joy in life while holding onto these fearful messages? It’s time to wake up! We’ve been disempowered with these messages our whole lives—that it’s not okay to just be joyful and thankful and perhaps shine amidst the crowd. It’s time to regain our power! It’s time to shine! Are you willing to take the risk of challenging these fearful stories? Because the truth is that the more joy we allow ourselves to experience and the more gratitude we focus on, the easier and lovelier life becomes. We become more present and aware (not blind to what’s coming at us); we become more motivated to expand our lives (not complacent); and we draw more people to us (not away from us).
Breaking the mold, changing the old, safe, comfy stories will be scary at first, but the light at the end of the tunnel is bright and warm and safer than we’ve ever known. Thank the fear and the stories for trying to keep you safe, but let them know: “It’s not working anymore, and it’s time to try something new.” Repeat the new messages of joy and gratitude. Embrace your fear as you move through these dark messages and toward the light. Rest assured, it will all be worth it in the end. It’s time to shine! It’s the time for Joy!