Over the last few years, I’ve become more aware of how just how thick the barriers are between myself and my lived experience. And how that keeps me from fully experiencing the wonders of the world.
For example, I don’t allow myself to become “too excited” because I don’t want to be disappointed when real life does not live up to my expectations. Too often in the past have I experienced heartbreak when I got enthusiastic about something that ended up not happening.
Over time, I learned to hold myself back, keep myself in check, and not invest too much emotion into what might be, what could be. Birthdays. Holidays. Vacation. Heck, even just going to see a movie that I was looking forward to.
It was bad enough that I felt the burning tears of disappointment. But when others witnessed it, I feel such shame and humiliation. As if I should have known better. As if I should have known that some sweet and good could never have happened to someone like me.
So, now I’m not only disappointed, but I’m beating myself up!
Yeah, that’s my cycle.
So, when you curb your enthusiasm, you maybe protect yourself from a direct hit, but you also lose the ability to truly feel. Period. You miss the pleasure of anticipation. You miss the comraderie of getting excited with others. And then, on the off-chance that it actually turns out as good as you would have hope–had you let yourself hope–you miss the emotionally high you could’ve felt. You have to fake the happiness.
Yeah, I have been there repeatedly, and I am sick of it.
So, this year’s word to bring a focus to my life is JOY. Simple joy. Just looking for it in unexpected places. And opening to it when my better judgment tells me not to. Allowing a few cracks here and there in the metaphorical armor so that joy can wiggle its way into my heart.
Underneath the clear recollections of disappointment lies a hazy, dreamlike memory of childhood joy.
I want it back