I want to focus on the good in my life for a while.
Because I have been too focused on the bad.
Things have gone wrong in my life, as with all lives I am sure, in childhood and otherwise, but it's made me live in fear of things going wrong again. I try to protect myself and stay in control by imagining and preparing for the worst.
Worst case scenarios.
But I never imagine and prepare for the best.
Best case scenarios.
I think I've numbed myself, lived a half life in shadow.
And I think we all see what we want to see. And because I've made myself focus on the bad, well, surprise surprise, it seems that's what I see.
Now I'm not talking about the cult of positivity though - where everything that goes wrong is your own fault because you just weren't positive enough.
No. Bad things just happen sometimes.
But just because you tried to prepare for that worst case scenario, imagined that monster truck careering down the road towards you, doesn't mean it won't hurt you when it hits. That it won't break you.
But you'll have missed out on life while you waited for the impact.
Good things happen too sometimes.
So is there any point in trying to protect yourself at all?
I'm tending to think not.
In hiding out with my fears, in holding onto my insecurities to make me feel secure, I'm missing many of those moments which added together make up my life. I'm only seeing the bad, but I don't believe in or trust the good. Those moments of joy or happiness, of kindness and flashes of hope. It's not enough that they are true, that they are - I must notice them. I must believe in them to experience them.
And if they are my life, but I am not experiencing them, then am I living at all?
Or am I just existing?
All because I'm afraid of that truck?
The worst won't necessarily come to pass. And while the best won't necessarily happen either, might it be it definitely won't happen if you can't even imagine it into being?
And the thing is that I have survived anything bad that has happened to me so far. I might have broken down or near enough but I've put myself back together.
Isn't this a very good reason to live without fear?
Proof, if I needed it, that life goes on?
Yes. But there is also a crucial paradox.
Ultimately of course life doesn't go on forever. In the end, we will all be broken beyond repair. A truck is on it's way, though maybe not the ones you fear day to day - there's no way around that.
I think there is a choice then.
Cower in the shadows and hope pain won't find you (it will).
Or step out into the light and give life all you've got.Trust in and experience the purity of each moment. Roll with the beauty and the pain.
Because one thing is certain. None of it is forever.
Realising that I've been stuck in a pattern of seeing the bad things, for now I'm going to focus on the good things. And only the good things. I'm not turning my back on the bad - just turning away for now. I'm re-tuning. Leaping back from that grim imagined future.
Dealing in best case scenarios.
Free falling into the moments. My life.
And this is why I'm bringing back joy pockets, and here they are:-
|My biggest joy pocket of all.|
- the bittersweet last few months of her being 3
- thinking if she is self-aware at 3, she will be ok, and proud of her and myself for how I've guided her in this "Mammy I am sorry for saying I would never cuddle you again. I was angry about the apple falling".
- her expression last night when I told her people knitted blankets for her before she was born as she was loved even then.
- finding a cherry tomato and a clementine packed away in Tupperware boxes in her play kitchen
- seeing how open and loving she is with people - but not indiscriminately so
- new lights in the kitchen and dining room
- a two week holiday booked in Portugal
- a reassuring visit to the school we have in mind
- an architect came to see the house - if we could afford the vision it would be brilliant
- the sun is out today and everything is golden
- starting to suspect that I am normal and acceptable after all - reading this book Introvert Power and therapy
- more birds are coming into the garden
- listened to this radio play Aonach Hourne - suspenseful, beautiful and heartbreaking
- the realisation that it could be a very good thing to just be what I am and to stop denying it or apologising for it
I'd love to read about your joy pockets if you'd like to share.