Having just been through the season of joy, I ask the question: How did you go with unleashing your joy over Christmas?
For some, joy can be terrifying because as soon as we start to feel it we self-sabotage saying, ‘What can go wrong?’ or ‘I’d better knock on wood.’ Indicating that it may not last. When we lose our vulnerability, joy becomes foreboding. If the fear of joy rises in you, be alert that this may be an old pattern of letting yourself down gently, of protecting yourself.
I first heard about foreboding joy in an interview with Brené Brown. She talks about using the practice of gratitude as an antidote for the fear that rises around joy. Feeling gratitude about joy rather than fear that it can’t last.
Letting it in, leaning hard into moments of joy.
In a culture of scarcity, we look for extraordinary things to fix us, rather than being grateful for the small things. Recognising those small, lovely things that we can be thankful for all around us, every day. That’s the trick.
I lean into this extract from a poem by Kahil Gibran on Joy and Sorrow for more inspiration.