Are painful experiences keeping you from enjoying the stars?
When I was young, I lived in a tiny town in Indiana (shout out to anyone from Batesville). I remember spending evenings running around outside, playing flashlight tag or catching fireflies. Many summer nights ended with setting up sleeping bags in the backyard for impromptu camping trips. I can still see in my mind’s eye, the dark sky, full of stars, as I would drift off to sleep (unless someone had told a scary story, in which case I would be furtively looking around and listening for disgruntled serial killers).
Now I live in Phoenix, AZ. It’s rare that I will see a sky full of stars. Most of the time the light pollution blocks out what I know is there.
Emotional pain operates the same way
When something bad happens to us, the negative memories and associated emotions can be so intense that we “can’t see” past them to less painful or even enjoyable memories.
One of the most fulfilling parts of my job is to help people “dim the lights” on the painful emotions that they are experiencing. Just like Phoenix at night, even though there are times we can’t see the stars, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. If you need support in dealing with emotional trauma or anxiety, consider taking the leap into counseling and learn to experience the stars again.