If we were to label feelings as good or bad, everyone would say that “glad” is a good one, right? Well, sort of. Yes, on any given day we would rather feel glad than sad. But glad has its issues, also. Many of us have been taught that “you shouldn’t be too happy.” The expectations which many of us picked up from our society, peers, and caregivers are confusing at best: you are supposed to be light and joyful; you are not supposed to have any problems or needs; you are not supposed to be proud of yourself; you are not supposed to be more successful or happier than those around you, and on and on it goes. So we are meant to be light and happy, but not too happy and not too light. By whose standards? Where is the “happy scale” which tells us how happy we can be and where and with whom? And how do we know when it is okay to not be quite as happy? Is it okay to be less happy sometimes? My goodness, the fears and doubts surrounding the simple act of feeling joyful are overwhelming.

Posted in: CEDRIC Centre

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  1. Suzanne April 15, 2011

    This is so true, Michelle. It happens to me so frequently that feeling great actually triggers the worst tension in me and the most pressing—yet confusing—need to reach for the old coping strategies.

    It’s been hard to accept that this is a reaction brought on by my old core belief that I am not allowed to feel good because I don’t deserve to, or sometimes that I have to be careful about feeling good to protect myself from the certainty that someone will come along, or something I have no control over will happen, to rob me of my happiness.

    It seems unfair sometimes that we’re on this lose-lose roller-coaster of emotions, but luckily, the wonderful tools you give us work-whether we’re sad or glad-to help us create our own fairness. Yay!


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