Part of loving yourself is not being afraid to feel your emotions and feel them fully. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be upset, but more importantly, it’s okay to be happy.
I never had a problem feeling sad; it was the happiness part that scared me. I developed a coping mechanism during my depression that stayed with me for a long time. My basic instructions were 1) don’t get excited 2) if you start to feel happy, cut it off because it will end up a disaster anyway. Any kind of happiness was too good to be true in my mind, so I just didn’t believe in it. Long after my bouts of depression, I still held onto that belief. People actually commented on my lack of being able to be excited about anything. It’s because I was scared. I was scared to death that if I became too happy or too excited that somehow the universe would say, “Gotcha! It was just a joke. There’s no such thing as happiness.” It always felt like if things were going too well that I could expect a monster to pop out from around the corner and snatch my happiness away.
I’m here to tell you, there is no monster waiting to see you smile so it can trip you up. Yes, things happen in our lives that are uncomfortable and sad and discouraging, but they don’t happen because you embraced happiness. They happen because that’s life and it’s all part of this living and learning journey. And more often than not, the bad stuff that happens opens a door to something even more amazing. In my own life, this has been the case over and over again. Just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore and my life was a wreck and I cried my eyes out, a light shined through, a window opened, and magic happened.
Loving yourself means not being afraid of happiness. Let yourself feel that joy. Open your heart and soul to the goodness of life. There is plenty of it to go around! And when the sad times do come, keep loving yourself and remind yourself that happiness will return. Happiness may be like a butterfly that flutters from here to there, but joy is constant. Put that joy in your heart. You deserve it!