In these 31 Days of October I am unpacking my learning from the book, Braving The Wilderness, by Brené Brown. She has been a favorite author for years. In this new publication she manages to build a sidewalk and curb in the wilderness where we can bravely tread.
The concept of foreboding joy was first introduced to me in The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. Yes, another great book by the author I'm currently reviewing.
She described how we dampen down joy to prepare for the worst to come next.
Just last night I was rehearsing tragedy at the same time I was excited to get my car back from the repair shop. What if he couldn't really fix that loud tapping sound from the engine? What if he has to work for more than five hours and we can't get it back today? What if he finds more problems than expected? These worries, possible.but not real, take the potency away from the joy of having wheels back after two weeks.
Brené gives an antidote to foreboding joy. It is gratitude practice. Every time I remember this I am struck by a momentary confusion. How does gratitude change things? Then I remember that gratitude is a mindset in "now". Thinking about what we are grateful for sets us on course to see the good in our lives at the present moment. Even if you are grateful for what happened in the past, the feeling of gratefulness is in your body today. It works.
"Both joy and pain are vulnerable experiences to feel on our own and even more with strangers"
So, let's hold hands when we go into the wilderness, and perhaps go in twos, even if it is just you and your own sense of belonging.
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