Why don’t we allow ourselves to be happy? Why do we steal from ourselves so often?
I cried during yoga the other day because a thought came into my head and overwhelmed me:
Good things are allowed to happen to me…
Why did this bring me to tears? Why did this resonate so much? Because I clearly don’t believe that to be true. I’m suspicious when things are going well. As if the inevitable downfall is soon to come. Something good can’t happen without something awful happening to cancel it out.
Maybe you think I’m nuts but Brene Brown thinks we all are guilty of doing this at times. She calls it foreboding joy. We look at the gifts in our lives and then suddenly picture something awful happening and it all being taken away.
One of the students I work with finds it hard to be optimistic. From his view, it’s better to expect the worse so it doesn’t hurt as much if it happens. And many of us think this way, too, right? It feels like worrying or thinking about the worst makes us prepared for it.
In way, yeah maybe we can better prepare but I’d say that’s more realism than pessimism. Realism is knowing there’s good and bad in all things. Shit happens. Pessimism is just…suffering twice. You feel the pain of the worrying and fretting and imagining and then the pain of the real thing as well. Because for many things, you can’t stop it from coming by worrying and you’re not actually better prepared for it at all. It’ll still hurt when it comes.
So maybe, just maybe, good things are allowed to happen to and for us. That these things don’t come with a time limit or a restriction or a counter balancer. It just is what it is. It’s good and beautiful and it’s not dangerous to appreciate it.
In fact, even if something awful did happen, you’d regret not appreciating it while it lasted, right?
Next year I really want to remember this. To Remember two big things that I keep forgetting: good things are allowed to happen to me and I can do hard things.
My counsellor reckons I lack self-trust. I don’t trust myself to be able to handle things. And I don’t trust that good things will happen for me, like it does for others. I’m clearly blinded by the negative.
Yeah I feel behind in life. Yeah I’m scared of responsibility. Yeah I’m not where I want to be. Yeah I’m not the smartest, prettiest, funniest, etc. But there’s so much I have done. Will do. Can do. There’s so much that I have to offer this world. I need to focus on that. Appreciate that. Love that. Use that.
Focus on the good that has happened and the hard things I have done, not everything yet to come that’s outside of my control.
If you’re feeling low or lost or scared, maybe you’re not trusting right now. Maybe you’re not seeing the good clearly. Maybe you’re blinded by the negative. Shift your perspective by doing any of the things below:
- Write a list of your strengths
- Write a list of your accomplishments
- Write a list of the things you were scared to do but you did them (no matter how small)
- Read something motivational
- Watch something motivational
- Sit with gratitude for the good things in your life (say it aloud or write it down)
- When something good happens, be happy about it and welcome it and be grateful for it