I feel as if I am in a constant battle to get out of my own way or stay out of my own damn head. I feel like I sabotage my opportunities on a daily basis by overthinking everything. I try different techniques and read all the self-care media out there, but I still find myself in this never ending cycle of feeling ok and at peace and then not. This is such a self-defeating cycle. I just want to feel ok. For once, I want feel accomplished and not feel like I could have done more. This constant up and down drives me insane.
I do everything to elicit joy in my life and more often than not I do feel joyful. I do feel peace, I do give thanks to the universe for all it provides. I just fall into this pitfalls of guilt for not doing more with what I was given. I feel like I cannot be the only person out there that feels this way. Well actually I know that for a fact. I know I am not the only person who feels this, but how do you combat this feeling?
I read that happiness is a baseline. As a child you develop a thought process of what happiness is to you and what makes you happy. This baseline can fluctuate but it is always constant. Theoretically, you will never be happier than the baseline that has been set within you. Yes, you can feel happier for moments in time, but you can also feel shittier. It is all dependent on circumstances, but it holds one constant. We have been programmed or taught to find our happiness but not our joy. Happiness is like a drug, we are constantly chasing another shot of that feel good. We can succeed in finding something that will make us happy but eventually it will wear off and you will be back at your baseline. I think my problem is my baseline is set really low compared to others, so even the biggest of successes feel like the smallest of victories when it comes to measuring that against what I have deemed is what I need to feel happy.
I am trying to think in terms of joy these days, in hopes that this will combat those self-deprecating feelings I battle. First, I had to teach myself about joy, because in my mind joy equaled happiness. I was wrong. Joy is a state of mind, not an emotion. It's the feeling you get when you spend countless hours staring at slime/glitter/confetti/soap cutting/color organizing videos. It is the elation that comes over you when you cuddle a puppy or kitten. It is feeling content in the moment despite the circumstances. Have you ever been going through an extremely rough time and you go outside and just stare at the sky and in that moment you know deep inside of you that everything will be ok? That is joy.
So my next question is, how do you elicit a constant state of joy? Joy requires that you feel connected to other people in life, in nature, and in art. It requires an acceptance of life as it is, in the present. It is an internal lasting condition. It is an attitude. It cannot be bought and is not conditional on someone else’s behavior (that part is important). This mindset is something I still struggle to master but I know joy can exist in my paradigm. A drive towards joy is a drive towards life and I want to fucking live dammit.
Be joyful y'all.