Should We Leave Everything That Doesn't Bring Us Joy?


"Leave What Doesn't Bring You Joy"

Now, if you haven't heard this phrase at least once in your life, I guarantee you will. Some people don't even have to hear it, they live by it out of nature. At first glance, it seems like a foolproof ideology that would lead to one thing we all inevitably want: happiness. At certain levels, this mindset is good to live by. You cut out anything/ anyone that seemingly isn't good for you and save a lot of energy. Adding on to that, you earn more self-respect by realizing you deserve better, and put yourself as a top priority. But see, what all these people who constantly push this idea don't realize, is when you don't have the right balance and start applying this phrase to everything, it can do much more damage than you expect.

"I'm not running away! I'm taking care of myself first!"

We all like to believe that every step we take is in our best interest. We march to the beat of our drum, even if that beat is steadily leading us off a cliff; and when we reach that edge, one of two things happen: we either fall or someone catches us just in time. Be it yourself or another person. A lot of people unconsciously drive themselves to this edge by coating the mentioned ideology to match their circumstances, using it as a cover for actions that are usually not approved of. For example, if someone is having problems with their family, they can say "I'm going to cut off all contact with them because they don't bring me joy anymore". Now, in some very extreme cases, such as abuse, this can be completely valid. However, when you apply this in a situation where someone has only just started to experience many issues with their family, then this is running away and, I'm sorry to say, taking the easy way out. When you completely cut off ties with anyone, you actively refuse to be reached out and to reach out. This can be very dangerous, especially if someone is in danger and you are one of the people that could help. Forget them being your family members and all the moments they made you upset just for a few minutes and remember: they're human beings just like you before they were your family members.

"How can I find a balance?"

Continuing with the above example, let me clarify how you can find a balance and put "leaving" as the last resort. Let's rewind first to when the problem started approximately, or when it stopped bringing you joy. Look at both internal and external factors. Did you stop spending time with them? Was there a previous issue you guys didn't solve a long time ago so it bubbled over? There can be so many things that we might overlook at the moment, that we later wish we would have realized. In short: find the root of why it stopped making you happy/ when it started to bother you. Second, start looking for ways to solve the cause. You can try a self-thought solution, ask advice from a friend or professional, or maybe even look up online solutions. But don't stop after one or two trials. The world is, alas, not so simple that it will give us everything we want immediately. But fret not, that just makes the end result much more gratifying. Lastly, if all these solutions seem not to work and you find yourself facing a thick brick wall, you may simply let go. However, if possible, keep an open mind.

"How did this philosophy get so damaging?"

There are many opinions. Some say it can stem from ungratefulness, others say that people nowadays have so many things that don't bring them joy, so it becomes overwhelming, and the only solution they see viable is to let go of it all. Personally, I would agree with both, depending on the situation and the said person. A very basic answer I know, but it's true, I simply cannot put a fixed answer on this when the topic is so broad and people are still completing studies on it. I can say that at times it can stem from ungratefulness, because not everyone is able to put a true value on what they have, they take it for granted. As goes the renowned saying, "you don't know the true value of something until you don't have it anymore". Take a minute, and think about your life entirely. Start imagining what your life would be if you didn't have certain things. And if you're feeling extra energetic, try a practical experiment. On the other hand, I can also say that it is because people lately seem to have many things that make them miserable, so they feel the best solution is to perform a "jumbo spring clean". Let's use an analogy. Your room is a mess. There are so many things lying around that you can't even see the floor anymore. It's bothering you, it's eating at you so much that you can't get anything done in your life. So, you decide to clean. But you want it done in a "time-effective" and easy manner, thus leading to simply picking everything up from the floor and throwing it into the nearest garbage can. Does it get the job done of making your room all nice and neat again? Absolutely! However, if you fast forward to a couple of weeks later, you might realize that you threw away something extremely important. This wouldn't have happened if you took the time to properly go through everything in your room, and carefully decide which things are worth keeping, and which things are not.

In conclusion, you deserve to give yourself contentment. But be careful with the things you throw away. They might be a huge pain now, but who knows, maybe later they'll be the reason for your success and happiness. Take a breather, and properly evaluate your surroundings.

Maisoon Faris
1,000+ pageviews

Maisoon is a first generation immigrant of Egyptian origin. She enjoys constantly learning new things through in-depth discussions with many people from different backgrounds, not only has it helped her form the foundation of her morals and values, but has also allowed her to aid others in understanding seemingly overcomplicated topics when in reality, they couldn't be any simpler. In addition to all that, Maisoon also enjoys the occasional movie, book and of course quality time with people she values.