What is the biggest hindrance to joy? It’s fear. That’s why a significant part of the Awakening To Joyful Living work is noticing and addressing fear. Where do you notice it?
These days I’m noticing it where I was hoping it would be fading out. But it isn’t. Because, when the virus pandemic started, another, less visible pandemic started as well: a pandemic of fear.
A lot of people (including some of my friends) have been living with fear since, while telling themselves “It’s only until there is vaccine. By then I will get back to living the way I used to”.
Fast forward, millions of people have received the vaccine, including those friends of mine. As a result, a gradual reopening is taking place. But here’s the thing:
Even if they have received the full vaccine, they are still sick of fear, so to speak. Even if protected by the vaccine, they live as fearfully as they did before the vaccine. As a result, they deprive themselves of human connection and much of what they experienced as richness of life prior to the pandemic.
But even worse, they deprive themselves of joy. Not just in the sense that there is joy in human connection, but because their fear prevents them from opening to joy.
Joy is an inner experience. When we feel fairly open and safe, it flows. When we’re in fear, it is being blocked, frozen, restricted.
Fear is an inner experience as well. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fear of sickness, of poverty, of loneliness or anything else. Fear is fear and it’s there for us to meet it consciously. When we don’t, fear stands in the way of our joy.
Our work is to address the fear itself, not what triggers it. And that is absolutely possible. Fear can be addressed and transformed, for example through the SEE Approach, or through Byron Katie’s The Work, or with other transformational approaches.
As the level of fear decreases, our ability to feel joy and live freely increases, in sickness and in health.
Now, don’t get me wrong: we still can and shall do whatever is needed for our physical health. But we don’t have to fear sickness and death and we don’t have to fear life. We can live with joy every day.
As we free ourselves from fear and allow more joy to flow, our health improves as well.
There is plenty of research confirming it.
So, this is the invitation to us all. When something triggers your fear, address the fear, not the trigger. And at the same time, practice joy every day.