Fear of Bliss

“Follow your bliss” sounds easy but it’s anything but for some people.

I’m feeling a lot of anxiety since coming to that realization a few days ago. Apparently struggling was my defense mechanism. It was a way to make myself blameless. Kind of saying “hey look, I’m already working very hard, hurting and struggling — so take it easy on me, OK?”

So the idea of actually having a good time, to prioritize activities that bring joy, feels terrifying. How dare you, my inner voice says. The rest of the world is suffering and struggling, how dare you allow yourself to have a good time? If you are a good person you are supposed to sacrifice yourself for the world. To suffer for the sake of others.

And I can argue with such a voice with reason — how is it helping anyone, if I’m miserable all the time? But these are like conditioning or brainwashing, not any sort of winnable argument. Somewhere along the line it got engrained in me. There isn’t some vengeful enforcer hiding in the corner of my room, ready and waiting to bust me for callously experiencing joy in a pained world. But that doesn’t ring true yet. It’s not something I can flip the switch and turn off.

Like I said before, courage is to act in spite of fear, not absence of fear. It feels so strange to say that I’m going to bravely follow my bliss. But yet that is what I appear to be facing. I do have some ideas of what to do. I like to listen to high res music. Sing along to my favorite songs. Put together original music with my guitar. Have meaningful exchange with people who listen and ask me great questions. Put out content that I think is worthy.

The best I can do is to engage, feel what I feel, and soothe my nerves. I am sure that I will unlearn this, given a bit of time.