I had an in depth conversation at a holiday party with a very wise loved one. We talked about dating and the challenges people face nowadays. She said something interesting to me.
It just seems as though people are just afraid of happiness.
That was an interesting observation. For the first time in human history, we have access to everything – including each other. How is it more difficult to communicate, be vulnerable, loyal and trust one another? Sure, we text people and share our most
censored vulnerabilities on social media for positive reinforcement; but why are we so alone and frustrated? Why aren’t our needs met? Do we even know what we need?
This statement had me pondering for a few days because it provoked serious thought. Are there any areas of my life where I was afraid to be happy? So, naturally, I did a little research; and then, I did an idiot self-check.
Cherophobia is the fear of being happy; per Lindsay Dodgson, it is more common than we think. Some symptoms include:
- Anxiety when you’re invited to a social gathering.
- Passing on opportunities that could lead to positive life changes due to the fear something bad will happen.
- Refusing to participate in “fun” activities.
- Thinking being happy will mean something bad will happen.
- Thinking happiness makes you a bad or worse person.
- Believing that showing happiness is bad for you or your friends or family.
- Thinking that trying to be happy is a waste of time and effort.
While I cannot say that I know anyone who generally feels this way about happiness in all areas of their life, I can say that I know many people that feel this way about romantic relationships – including myself. When you get a little older and it seems like your energy, enthusiasm, and drive isn’t on tap the way it once was in your 20s. Life can get a bit complicated and each time it does, it can be a more difficult to maintain a positive and optimistic standpoint about an area in your life where you have been burned more than once.
Sometimes, a little fear is embedded in that adhesive of you heart.
Heartbreak can be a traumatic experience that creates an aversion to happiness. If gone unaddressed, you can develop negative outlook toward relationships or whatever the trauma is related to. Protecting yourself, has it’s pitfalls; while protecting your heart from being hurt, you are also preventing your heart from being loved. Most profoundly, you are just wasting precious time that cannot be retrieved. Time that can be spent loving, being loved and building something amazing with someone special.
A ship that doesn’t sail never reaches port.
All things in life are a risk. Protecting ourselves from the possibility of hurt or failure just ensures that we stay stagnant. This can also ensure that we stay isolated; thus, never truly loving or truly living.