Seeing Life As ‘Hard’ Is Just A Protection Device
From Dec 9, 2013
I am officially in transition to being excited and joyful about everything. It is my deliberate practice of late. Because everything in our life offers to guide us to bliss.
Even the ‘bad’ stuff.
Lately I’ve been very aware of how much I miss out on when I focus on the hard, on the yukky. And I’ve also become aware that seeing life as ‘hard’ is a protective device – because “You-never-can-tell-what’s-coming-your-way”, so I’d better not risk joy.
There’s a part of me that thinks Joy makes me vulnerable, you see – all happy and open and childlike and then WHAM! Something might happen that I wasn’t prepared for, like a hurt or a disappointment, and then what? How will I survive it?
So I gotta be prepared for the worst at all times – that way it will never get me.
Or at least that’s what the scared inner voice is telling me.
Except there’s one tiny flaw in this reasoning.
If I think like this then it’s already got me. Because if I’m so worried the ‘badness’, the pain, the fear, the disappointment – will catch me by surprise that I prepare myself constantly, then I’m already living in it. What I’m so afraid of has already happened. I made it so. How ironic is that?
My child – bless those tricksy First-Borns – keeps reflecting this to me and I’m longing to ‘fix’ it in him. He’s just not able to be happy with what he has. He’s always upset about what he doesn’t have – but to ridiculous extremes.
A while back he was sitting eating a chocolate that he always asks for and got as a treat and he says in that whiny voice that drives parents over the edge the world over, “Pleeeease can you buy me chocolate? You NEVER buy me any chocolate!”
It was IN HIS HAND. His mouth was BROWN and that’s what he said.
Thank heavens for my appreciation of the ridiculous in those moments because the victim energy he sends out hooks right into mine and internally my Grand Dame Victim Mother cues the violins for the “Look At All I’ve Done For You” symphony in D minor. But that time I managed to enjoy the music in silence and laughed instead.
I can see how he is totally blind to the good he has and it hurts me for him. I’m desperate to make him SEE. But it’s like talking to a wall. Blank eyes, incomprehension – he’s lost in the illusion in those moments.
Of course I can’t get through to him. I’m talking to my mirror. It’s like seeing I need a shave and trying to shave the mirror instead.
Not really going to help anything is it?
Brene Brown talks about Foreboding Joy, the fear that joyful moments bring with them. You know that thing; you feel a surprise moment of joy and well-being bubbling up inside you, “Look at my wonderful friends and family” you happily sigh, and then next thing you know you frighten yourself horribly by imagining them all being killed in a car crash, or some violent crime. To protect yourself you go for the jugular, the worst case scenario so that within split seconds you go from open-hearted joy to feeling closed-down, defended and scared. Much safer that way.
All that joy felt too vulnerable.
Well I don’t want to live in shut down. My son is showing me very clearly just how much I miss out on when I do that. So I am practicing leaning into the joy, seeking it out and letting myself be vulnerable.
If the worst case ever happens (which statistically it rarely does) then I will deal with it at that time. And I will be strong enough to do so because I will be supplemented by a life filled with joy and I’ll be practiced at being unafraid of being vulnerable.
I choose bliss, not fear, as my guide.
I hope you join me.