Learn to Bear Joy

One of our greatest life tasks is actually to learn to bear joy, and to let it influence our psychology in deeper and deeper ways. In actuality, there is a great cultural discomfort with joy, and our voracious pleasure seeking is often a mask for our fear of simple joy. Joy frightens us, it makes our defenses quake — it almost invites a superstitious fear of “the other shoe dropping.” We can bear joy for fleeting moments, but for most of us, self-appreciation all too quickly devolves into self-measurement.

In my work as a therapist I watch for these moments of inspiration and try not to let them pass. I encourage my clients to stay with their inspiring moment just a bit longer. When they do, something surprisingly deep will likely emerge….

You have similar gifts inside you, and the more you savor your small moments of inspiration, the better you will come to know them — and be changed by them.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 45

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