After struggling with addiction, mental illness, trauma, complex family dynamics, and other forms of pain and suffering, it can be hard to allow yourself to recognize and feel joy. Joy can even feel more vulnerable than pain, especially when pain is what is familiar.
Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop
One common response to feeling greater amounts of freedom, joy, and openness in life is waiting for the other shoe to drop. What this means is that you do not trust when things are good, and feel on edge waiting for the next bad thing to come. This could feel like anxiousness when no reason for anxiety is present, resorting to old patterns as soon you begin to experience relief from them, or intentionally creating chaos in calm.
Focusing on What Feels Good
Choosing to focus on what feels good, without diminishing what does not feel good, can be a way to cultivate greater amounts of pleasure and joy. Although focusing on what feels good may feel unfamiliar, with practice, your tolerance for experiencing joy will increase, and feeling “good” can start to be your normal again.
Creating Safety to Feel Good
Although part of you may logically know you are safe to feel good and are not meant to suffer forever, your body may be telling you a different story; one that says, “This feeling of happiness is not safe.” Instead of judging that part of yourself for existing, you can practice thanking it for protecting you and reminding it that you are safe to have a new experience now.
Ultimately, creating safety to feel good is about creating safety in your body for pleasure to exist, rather than to be denied. This happens through self-awareness, acceptance, and compassion.
Allowing yourself to be open to and receive the goodness of life after experiencing pain can feel uncomfortable because it may seem unfamiliar. It takes time to cultivate safety to allow yourself to feel grounded in experiencing joy and pleasure when these experiences have been absent.
By letting go of waiting for the other shoe to drop, focusing on what feels good, and creating safety in your body for this new way of being, you can expand your tolerance to dance with your life instead of running from it.
After years of suffering, pain, and trauma, experiencing joy and pleasure can feel worse before it feels better. The discomfort in new feelings, such as pleasure and joy, may feel more vulnerable than pain as it is unfamiliar. At Avalon Malibu, we recognize how difficult it can be to open yourself to joy instead of running from it as you are healing. Our team is here to support you as you settle into new ways of being after healing from pain. To begin your journey, call Avalon Malibu today at (844) 857-5992.