I remember watching a Super Soul Sunday with Oprah talking to Brene Brown about holding back on experiencing joy and thinking, I do this too. (Brene further notes that joy is based on gratitude.)
And then, about a month ago, I caught myself holding back on sharing my joy. I can’t even remember what it specifically was, but I wrote a note to myself to think about what suppressing the good things looks like.
When I’m afraid to celebrate myself. When I’m afraid to even go ahead with the thing that I would celebrate myself for doing. Or I’m holding back sharing good news with people because I’m sure that as soon as I’ve counted my blessing, a curse will follow on its tale.
My fear mother makes all the right arguments to corroborate the practicality of this shut down. The same old tired excuses that I will embarrass myself or fail are resold and bought yet again? But the price is too high for hiding and holding out this way.
As you’ve already been told many times, humans are social beings. We learn about ourselves through connection with others. We also receive positive emotions like joy and pride from people, whether in person or online. We need this interaction and others need it from us!
Warning signs of this disconnection look like disallowing the sharing, pride, connection, celebration, creative process and progress, and not asking for support and help for life’s endeavors. This separation and isolation can become very painful.
I learned all of this well from my mom. She’d been a shut in for years before we moved her. And finally, after she’s spent another year locked inside her apartment, she’s venturing out into her new community.
I have been working hard to build myself back up from the traumas of this past year. I’ve been self-caring through writing, exercising, connection with friends, reading, walking outside, feeding myself well, taking care of what ails me, and prioritizing the bejuices out of my creative endeavors, whatever they are in the moment. And I have been taking copious notes on my Joys and my Gratitudes.
If any of this is helpful, and I hope it is, I am grateful. And I’d love to hear about what struck you. Please leave me a comment below.