Blessings Now & Forever

“We can be our worst selves when we’re afraid, or our best, bravest selves” Brené Brown.

Everybody of us wants to accomplish something in our lives, it can be achieving our ideal career, establishing a romantic relationship, or anything. With all the staying power, we devote ourselves to achieving our aspirations.

But when our hard work starts taking shape and we finally see our dreams turning into reality, something strange happens. 

Though achieving our goal should fill us with ecstasy and self-actualization but instead, this vulnerable state of happiness brings us more uneasiness than joy.

What is Foreboding Joy?

Envision having the most joyous thing possible in your life. But rather than celebrating and being happy about it, you live in the drowning fear of losing it at some point. 

This is foreboding joy, instead of being happy for the good, we fear it might not last, things might not always pan out as planned. 

Sounds familiar? Well, you are not alone, foreboding joy is a very common psychological state and is experienced by everyone. It happens to all of us at some point if not more; in one moment we are applauding at our mother cutting her 70th birthday cake, in the other, we are engulfed with grieve by the realization that she is turning old and is near to kicking the bucket.

The fact is that our happiness is deeply entangled with vulnerabilities. Life offers us a million and one opportunities to be happy and feel blessed, but instead, we forbade those moments because of the swirling fear that if we enjoy ourselves something bad will happen and sucker-punch us with loss and pain.

Why Do We Fear Happiness?

The fear of joy in some way or the other is rooted deep inside the remembrance of past disappointments often the same that once caused us great pain and left us bruised.

So, when anything good approaches us, we braid all the three emotions of joy, hope, and an unknown fear in the cubicles of our minds. The hope of something good and joy for the moment is obvious, but the fear associated with the joy feels as if it is trying to protect us from the possible re-occurrence of disenchantment.

The main driver of foreboding joy is scarcity and fear. The fact that joy doesn’t last forever makes us question, the mere reason for being joyful. Do we even deserve our joy, give all our imperfections and inadequacies? 

Joy: The Most Terrible Emotion

Joy is an emotion that all of us crave but, it is not just associated with happiness and satisfaction. Prof. Brene Brown says that the most terrible and difficult emotion that we as humans experience is joy. 

Some people like keeping their distance from happiness i.e. not getting too excited when something good happens because this way they will not be devastated when they confront the bad situation.

People try to dress-rehearse tragedy so just to beat vulnerabilities. But what they fail to understand is. being ignorant towards the good would not protect them from the upcoming no-win situation. When the time comes, one will have no option but to face the music.

So, what is the way out?

Gratitude is The Way Out

Joyful people too feel this foreboding shudder of terror when blessings overwhelm them. It is a common feeling, and nothing to be ashamed of. 

Instead of letting this make-believe trepidation take over, they practice gratitude for the moment, they are appreciative for the joy, the blessing they are experiencing.

One should understand that there is no such thing as a grateful attitude. Gratitude is a practice. When one actively practices gratitude, where they just not concentrate on thinking about the blessings but also feel deserving for the good, get stronger for facing the dire straits.

Both the good and the bad are inevitable. The ephemerality of our lives keeps staring us in the face, so what if things don’t pan out the way we want them, we can still embrace the little moments with joy.

“Just accept the blessing that’s in front of you, and if it’s not forever, it’s okay.” says Phoenix As, in the podcast episode of Blessings Now & Forever, “Go ahead and grab hold of it and understand that whether it’s here for now or for a lifetime, it’s still yours, it’s still right.”

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