Why Is It So Hard for Me to Feel Joy?

I was looking at my wedding photos and realized that I didn't smile that much.

I mean, I'm smiling in some photos. But in many, I'm not looking that thrilled to be there.

Sure, maybe I'm nervous. Maybe I'm focused.

But also I've realized that in general, on a subconscious level, I don't allow myself to feel or express much joy or happiness.

I do this because, even though I know this doesn't make sense, subconsciously I feel that if you express too much joy or happiness then you'll be punished.

Like, the universe, or God, will say, "Hmm, you're getting pretty cocky right now about how much joy you have. Get ready for some bad shit."

For this reason, I've thought it was better to have an even temperament. Not too joyful, not too sad, just right in the middle.

"If you're feeling joy," this subconscious part of me says, "keep it to yourself, deep within. Don't even let your lips know."

"Not even at my wedding?" I ask.

"Not even at your wedding."


"No wow, just say, 'Okay,' and get on with your day."

"Hmm, I don't know about this,"  I say. "I don't know."


"Don't sshhhh me," I say. "I'm going to feel joy, goddamnit!"