Warning: F-bombs up ahead.
Happiness and joy feel like the most terrifying things, ever.
Yet, they’re also all I want.
Brene Brown is one of my idols and one of my virtual mentors. During this chat with Oprah, she talks of how through her extensive research, she’s come to the conclusion that joy is the most terrifying feeling we experience…
My fear of thriving—of wellness, health, happiness, stability, and success—feels crippling, frustrating and absurd. I battle with it daily…hourly. Big decisions, little decisions, it’s there in subtle or glaringly obvious ways.
Part of me is fucking terrified of things changing, but part of me is utterly craving it to. I’m gradually learning to find this this pickle I frequently find myself in, endearing—I understand why it’s here.
Just the last few weeks, I’ve noticed an ability to sit with my fear of joy and happiness and allow myself to feel the joy and happiness at the same time.
Watching this video again today, I realise that perhaps this is due to the fact I’ve been practising gratitude lately.
I used to hate the idea of gratitude practises—I’ve always seen myself as a grateful person, so why the fuck should I ‘practise’ it? It just comes naturally…
A few months ago I decided to rebel against this hate, and create a happiness jar—one that is now overflowing on my bedside table. It’s a resource I can dig into during moments I wonder where the fuck I’m going, and how things are going to be okay.
I write down things that have happened or things I’ve done throughout my day, and then I write what feelings I have around this—gratefulness, joy, relief, acceptance, love, connection, belonging, freedom…the more I do this, the more I notice that I consciously feel these feelings throughout my day.
Joy and wellness still feel terrifying, but they just aren’t feeling as foreign. Writing them down allows my body to feel them again, and know they’re safe.
That’s pretty rad.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: ele archives; Amani Omejer