My therapist wants me to try and write from a place of vulnerability in my Daily 15 where I write for 15 minutes regardless of content or editing. I don’t know how I feel about this. Well, I feel annoyed that I tend to follow directions, so there’s that, I guess.
A friend left a video by Dr. Brene Brown on Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday about how joy is terrifying. That it can be terrifying because we are so afraid to feel joy due to our fear that it will be taken away. That loss will break us and be too painful to bear.
But avoiding feeling pain doesn’t actually protect us from heartbreak. It does not adequately prepare us for when we’re sucker punched by life. So why do we allow it to rob us of joy?
[clickToTweet tweet=”Somehow, I do not find love trustworthy. I think joy a tricky fellow. Do not trust security. Do not fall too much in #love. Your heart will only break all the more when life inevitably rips your world apart. #fear #anxiety #parenting” quote=”Somehow, I do not find love trustworthy. I think joy a tricky fellow. Do not trust security. Do not fall too much in love. Your heart will only break all the more when life inevitably rips your world apart.” theme=”style1″]
I mentioned to Dr. T about how every time I feel joy, I also feel on the verge of weeping. She said that it’s because I’m so unused to feeling joy – let alone any emotions. And that the only solution is to get used to feeling joy – and that one day, feeling joy will not bring me to the edge of tears.
It is endlessly frustrating to me that so much of my life is revolved around fear.
Not going to see snow? FEAR.
How can so much of my life be ruled by fear? It’s somewhat astounding. And impressive! But mostly, I waver between despair and hope.
It’s been decades – and decades of KNOWING this about myself – and yet, I don’t seem to be making any improvement. I still tell myself not to be afraid. And yet, I still am afraid.
Dr. T says I can tell myself to not be afraid until I’m blue in the face and I will still be afraid. The fear will still be there. The question becomes what will I do in the midst of that fear. Do I stop? Do I hide? Or do I face my fears head on?
The only way to banish fear is to face them. The only way out is through.
I really hate that advice.
Just like the only way to stop feeling as if my heart is being ripped out of my chest every time I allow joy into my life is to continue to feel joy. It’s so troubling to me that my therapist’s advice is to allow more JOY into my life – and that my immediate reaction isn’t YAY! More JOY!
It’s ah, fuck! MORE CRYING!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY?
But Dr. T says that joy is not always accompanied by fear of loss. That it just takes practice.
I want to disbelieve her. But I know, in my soul, that she is right.
Dare I hope for such things? Dare I hope one day I will run towards joy and love without the twin companions of fear and doubt?
Why am I so afraid of joy? Why am I afraid if I let myself fully sink into the joy and wonder of loving my children, of being fully present in sniffing their sweaty little heads, hugging their warm little bodies, and basking in their kidness?
Why is it so much easier for me to kvetch about their shittiness or how awful a parent I am – but near impossible for me to praise and sit in delight?
Why am I so afraid?
Is it because of my father? (It seems so trite to bring it about to him again.) Somehow, not being able to trust in the security of his love? How acknowledging love is just inviting the gods to wipe my happiness away with a callous swipe of their hands?
Somehow, I do not find love trustworthy. I think joy a tricky fellow.
Do not trust security. Do not fall too much in love. Your heart will only break all the more when life inevitably rips your world apart.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Dare I hope for such things? Dare I hope one day I will run towards #joy and #love without the twin companions of #fear and #doubt? #parenting” quote=”Dare I hope for such things? Dare I hope one day I will run towards joy and love without the twin companions of fear and doubt?” theme=”style1″]
I apologize for today’s piece. It’s still navel-gazing. I’m reluctant to tap into the true vulnerability I feel. It feels unseemly.
So, I’ve cheated by telling you what my therapist told me to write about.
Perhaps I will be braver tomorrow.