Originally published on Balance and Thrive
The past few months have been full of change and excitement. Things are good. Really really good.And what I’ve learned is that this freaks me out!
Last night I was explaining to Mark that I am happy and excited about all the amazing things showing up in our lives right now, but there’s a part of me that still feels like I’m walking on thin ice. And the more people who join in on our happiness and excitement, the more I worry that that ice is going to crack and kill us all…not dramatic at all right?!
So what I do to protect myself is that I shut down. I put up walls so that people get the heck off my ice!
And as I was talking this through, I started to realize how silly it sounds coming out of my mouth. I was talking and at the same time thinking this doesn’t even make sense.
But I know that I am not alone in this. When things are good – we trigger a mental thought of something bad. It’s the idea of “foreboding joy” that Brene Brown talks about in her work. This is the same concept that fuels the statement “waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
It’s what we do to protect ourselves, but it’s really not a useful strategy. Because when something bad happens, you can’t really plan, prepare or protect yourself.
So as I was talking about the thin ice metaphor that I was experiencing, I realized that it was really just hijacking my joy. And that’s just ridiculous.
The other thing that I realized was that the more people who were on the ice with us, the more people who are there to share in the joy and to support us along the journey should we need it.
I also realized that the ice we were on was strong. And should it crack, we have a whole crew of people who are there with us.
But the thing is loss, pain and disappointment are inevitable parts of life. And when we hijack our joy, we are not protecting ourselves from the pain, we are simply cheating ourselves out of the joy.
Life is about both. And so much of what I have learned over the years is that so much of the beauty has come from the pain. And when the beauty is present, when we can see it and feel it, we should dive in headfirst and embrace it. Because that is life.
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Dr. Jamie Marich
Curator of the Dancing Mindfulness expressive arts blog: a celebration of mindfully-inspired, multi-modal creativity
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