My jaw DROPPED reading this part of the book. I couldn’t believe this concept was in front of my eyes typed out. (It starts on page 80)
Other people in the world must do this and over a million people have read this book so I’m willing to bet it was a HUGE sigh of relief for so many of us.
The general idea is this…sometimes in my life…I don’t want want to be TOO happy during happy times, because something negative or bad will eventually happen. I don’t want to be brought TOO far back down, because it will hurt more.
Brene says this concept of “too good to be true” all relates to fear, scarcity and vulnerability.
Some thoughts from this concept are this:
*I’m not going to allow myself to feel this joy because I know it won’t last
*Acknowledging how grateful I am is an invitation for disaster
*I’d rather not be joyful than have to wait for the other shoe to drop
I love this quote from Joyce Meyer (the bible I have is hers!) – “Worry is a down payment on a problem you may never have” Wow. THE TRUEST.
So basically…and here’s where I think you may relate…I get scared when things are going really, really good. At first, I don’t worry. I am enjoying the cheerful moments and easier days. I’m embracing the happy family memories being made, the business wins, the success. And then the fear creeps in and goes “Amanda, you KNOW this is too good right? Reel it back in, because eventually you’ll be sad again, life happens” – and I hated this moment and it didn’t start happening until I had kids. Here’s what has shifted for me though, in the past couple of months. Are you ready for this? YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS!
From Gifts of Imperfection: “If we’re not practicing gratitude and allowing ourselves to know joy, we are missing out on the two things that will actually sustain us during the inevitable hard times.”
WHOA. Meaning…me DENYING myself joy now, or delaying it, or not wanting to feel TOO happy or express my gratitude will NOT ONLY not spare me from pain in the future, but by not feeling the happiness and gratitude now, I will feel even worse when something bad happens?
If you deny your happy today, out of worry for the future, you are not living life.
Laugh really, really hard. Dance. RUN. Play. Be spontaneous. Tell the people you love that you are grateful for them. Tell the world. SHARE your joy. Joy is contagious, and so is bravery. Being vulnerable enough to share when you’re hurt or scared or sad is so brave, and necessary, but don’t be afraid to share your happy.
Your happy is important, too. I heard a preacher recently saying it’s our JOB to share our good news! Our good moments and news and happiness, those are gifts from God. Don’t hold those back! Do NOT let people who don’t like you, or even worse, don’t like themselves determine what you can and can’t share out of fear of being too happy or sharing too much joy.
There will be hard times. I was perfectly happy in all the posts leading up to our car accident. Nothing was wrong, life was chaotic but joyful. But…what would life have been like for us if I was just worried and worried and not living out happiness until that crash? Not fair to our kids. Not fair to our marriage. Not fair to me. Then the scariest moment of our lives came. And we shared the pain, but we shared the journey and the strength and the joyful moments that came when friends visited or Mike bandaged me up or the girls started to recover.
It’s okay to feel your joy. Feel it deeply and share it. It’s a gift. Joy can be in big monumental grand moments or a quiet morning with coffee and the windows open. It can be big, or small… and it can be yours.
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