Happiness: Do some peoples childhoods set them up to feel guilty for being happy?

Oliver JR Cooper

Author, transformational writer, teacher, consultant and two thousand, five hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour.

Although someone can have the need to be happy, it doesn’t mean that they will feel comfortable being happy. Consequently, they can end up doing just about everything that they can to make sure that they are never happy.

Still, while they will be sabotaging their own happiness, it doesn’t mean that they will be aware of this. Therefore, this will be something that is taking palace just outside of their awareness.

Two Levels
Their conscious mind won’t understand what is going on but their unconscious mind will know exactly what is going on. So, until they are able to take a step back and to look a little deeper, they are likely to lead a miserable existence.
It could be normal for them to feel powerless and they may believe that they have no control over their life. It may even seem as though someone, or something, ‘out there’ is in control of their life.

The Same Old Story
If they do fall into what could be described as ‘victim thinking’, they could soon get back on their feet. This could be a time when they will continue to work towards a certain goal, for instance.
They might get so far and then, out of nowhere, something could happen that will hold them back. Or, they could achieve something and they could find that they are unable to experience happiness.

When it comes to the latter, they may wonder why they are not happy, considering that they will have what they have wanted. Further, the people around them could also find it hard to understand why they are not overjoyed at what has taken place.
At this point, it could become clear that when their life is not how they want it to go they are not happy and, even when it is, they are still not happy. If they were to think about what is going on, they could believe that there is no reason for them to be this way.

Life Goes On
After coming to this conclusion, they could continue to take the steps that they think they need to take to finally be happy. Sooner or later, they could achieve something else or have a special day, and once again, they might not allow themselves to be happy.
This might be enough to make them step back and take notice, to see that something is not right. It might be crystal clear at this point, that being unhappy feels more comfortable than being happy.

If they were to take the time to think about how they feel when they are happy, they may find that they are overwhelmed with guilt. Therefore, instead of being able to appreciate and embrace what they have achieved or a period of their life, they will feel as though they have done something wrong.
Holding themselves back and hiding what they have achieved from others will then be a way for them to stop themselves from feeling guilty. With this in mind, their greatest need is then not to be happy; it will be to stop themselves from feeling guilty.

Deeper Down
In addition to feeling guilty, they can believe that they will end up being rejected and then abandoned if they are happy. Consciously, this could be seen as being completely irrational, with there being no reason for them to feel this way.
If they were to look back on their past, they may see that there have been moments when they have been happy and this didn’t cause them to be rejected, and even if there were moments when they were, their life didn’t come to an end. If they were to look into what their early years were like, they may find that what they are going through as an adult makes complete sense.

Early Years
During this stage of their life, they may have had at least one caregiver who was more or less always miserable. One may have been criticised and put down whenever they were happy or felt that being this way upset their caregiver, setting them up to believe it was wrong to be happy and that they would only be accepted if they were unhappy.
This would have been a time in their life when their main priority was to survive, not to be happy and full of life. Dimming their light and not being happy would have been seen as the only way for them to survive.

The Body Remembers
As the years passed, their conscious mind would have forgotten all about what took place, but the feelings that they experienced and the beliefs that they created would have stayed inside their unconscious mind/body. The outcome of this is that being happy will be associated as what is safe, whilst being happy will be seen as a threat to their survival.
Once their inner world starts to change, it will be easier for them to allow themselves to be happy. They won’t have one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the break; all of their energy will be going in the same direction.

If one can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
The truth is that they deserve to be happy and to have a fulfilling existence. Ultimately, they were not responsible for their caregiver’s emotional state when they were a child and they are not responsible for another person’s emotional state now that they are an adult.