Rediscovering Joy Beyond Fear

By Jennifer Garza

Do you remember what it felt like to be a child on Christmas morning? How the excitement was so encompassing you could barely sleep in wonder of the joy to come? Do you remember the anticipation before opening shiny, wrapped gifts under a brightly lit Christmas tree? Do you still feel it?

We tell ourselves this type of joy fades as we grow older. But this is a lie that allows us to hide behind our disappointments, bad decisions, and un-faced fears. As we go through our journey, we allow life’s letdowns to defeat us. We over-analyze the motives of others; punish ourselves for not being good enough; allow the stress of daily life to overshadow our life’s purpose; and allow fear to paralyze us, take over our choices, and keep us from moving forward.

The only way to find our joy is to acknowledge our pain and work through it. There is so much love and light within the Universe and inside of us. We are meant to experience a level of joy beyond our comprehension. The struggles are indeed a part of the path to learning and understanding, but if we acknowledge the hard lessons, embrace the pain just as we do the happiness – and truly learn from it – there is nothing but joy on the other side.

So how do you embrace the lessons?

* Realize you are connected to everyone and everything. When you feel disconnected from a higher power, you assume you are alone. This is an illusion, and you are choosing it. When you choose to feel alone, this becomes your reality.

* Be honest with yourself. Face your fears and insecurities. No matter how hard it is, there is so much more suffering through denying. Denying your pain is choosing to deny your life’s purpose. When you hide behind life’s vices – whether it be through alcohol, food or unhealthy relationships with yourself or others – you are hiding from your life’s purpose. Don’t be afraid of your purpose – embrace it.

*Make hard decisions. You know, at a soul level, whether or not you are happy. It is no one else’s burden to create your happiness – it is yours alone. If you are not happy, it’s because you are holding on to people, situations, and patterns that create your unhappiness. Remember that letting go of the unhealthy things that bind you can only set you free.

Jennifer Garza, M.S., has a master of science in counseling and psychology. She is a former therapist and has taught life enhancement classes at venues including college campuses, state conferences and prisons. She is the author of the inspiration journal “365 Days to Happiness: Use Your Strengths, Thoughts, and Dreams to Manifest a New Life.” Garza has been featured in Natural Health magazine, AOL,, Young, and on FTNS radio. Visit her website at or connect with her. 

Editor’s Advice: Accepting the Joy in Life

Have you ever noticed it’s often easier to believe the negative or bad things that happen to us compared to the positive or good?

The expressions “I had to pinch myself” or “I can’t believe my luck,” are examples of how most of us feel shocked when something wonderful happens for us. And then these initial thoughts of shock usually turn to worry about the good being taken away, or being followed by something bad.

More than 12 years ago, my sister and I took a road trip to Long Island for an appointment with the medium, George Anderson, 10 months after our mother unexcpected passing only three days after Christmas in 1999. It was an emotional hour, but something Anderson conveyed to us from our mother during that session always stayed with me. She said “learn to partake in the joys that come to you, because if they come to you, then you deserve them.”

This is something she admitted to struggling with in her life, and during what she called her “life review” after passing she realized she didn’t accept joy as well as she could have while in the physical world. She said, “We are always waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

Unfortunately many of us have been conditioned to expect the negative, even when something positive comes our way, and in doing so, we forget to bask in the beauty life has to offer. Instead of moving quickly on to the next worry, issue, problem or fear, when something good comes to us – be it a new relationship, more money or a successful venture – we should savor it, celebrate it and live in the gratitude of it.

Instead of expecting the bad … what about expecting the good? If you understand the law of attraction, then you know expecting the good will only attract more good to you. More importantly, as my mother so eloquently conveyed through George Anderson, if good things comes to you … then know it’s because you deserve it!

Tammy Mastroberte
Founder, Publisher & Editorial Director
Elevated Existence Magazine