When we lose our tolerance for vulnerability, joy becomes foreboding. – Dr. Brene Brown
Have you ever looked over your child sleeping and thought, ” work is going good. The parents are healthy. Marriage or relationship is on track. Bank account looks good. Saving mor e money than I expected…..oh God, SOMETHING horrible has to be right around the corner!”
This is the tragedy that is foreboding joy. When things seem to be going well, I often “steel” myself for the eventual other shoe to drop. Which robs me of the opportunity and joy of fully leaning into the present joy life has afforded me.
In short, we often dress rehearse tragedy that has yet to happen, if ever, to beat opposition to the punch. But in the process we neuter our hearts and spirits from ever really experiencing the true depth of joy in its moment.
I heard Dr. Brown tell a story of a man who said, “I never allowed myself to get too excited about anything. Therefore if things went downhill, I was never too disappointed and if things worked out, I was always pleasantly surprised. Then shortly afterwards he lost his wife of forty years in a tragic car accident. He said, ” As I tried to make sense of it all overwhelmed in loss….I wished I had leaned more into those moments of joy, for they are now forever gone.”
POA: (plan of action) The tendency to dress rehearse tragedy when things are actually going well can be overcome by the discipline of gratitude. Not metaphorically. But actually, stopping at that moment to embrace, verbalize and be present in gratitude at that moment until your emotion, thoughts and spirit catch up to your words. Yes, it will feel like you are BS’ing yourself a little at first….but you can do it.
I am just starting to use this coping mechanism myself. It takes practice to be grateful. It is not an attitude. It is a conscience and physical effort put forth to change the narrative in your head.
Personally, I am going to borrow from my good and totally awesome friend Melissa Wagner “day of change” series and began my year of “day of gratefulness”. To develop and habitualize the act of observing gratefulness to dispel the tendency to dress rehearse tragedy. It is another step in
#RebuildingMyHeart #LovingMySoul and finding the #NewMe
Be well and let it marinate, folks