Go Through Pain to Get to Joy
Last week Peter and I watched a Netflix special with Brené Brown on vulnerability and courage.
In watching Brené, it was striking to realize how much we disavow our feelings of events that challenge us. And yet, it is these feelings that provide us the best tool to move forward.
To live a vibrant life that gives you the experiences that you seek requires you to feel the very emotions you so often bury and ignore.
Can you imagine a life without joy or happiness? In order to experience those emotions, it requires you to feel other emotions that are hard. Emotions like anger, frustration, and sadness to name a few.
Put another way, when you look back to the most valuable experiences you’ve had, were there yucky experiences that came with difficult emotions? Probably so. You can’t have the joy and the learning, without the challenges to get you there.
Find one amazing experience you’ve had. It could be an event early in your life or something that happened yesterday. When you go back and review the different events that occurred prior to that amazing experience, do you remember when you doubted yourself? When you wondered if you should throw in the towel? Maybe it was a particular moment when a bunch of ugly emotions were colliding and struggling for attention?
After you find the experience and appreciate the different emotions you felt, take a step back and observe, like a fly on the wall, the range of feelings you felt throughout the experience. As the dispassionate fly on the wall, what does the experience seem like when you remove the emotions? Is it boring? Insignificant for you? Not an experience of any relevance after all?
This is why it is important to feel your emotions in the moment and then let them move on. They help to bring richness to life. All of your emotions are part of experiencing an abundant and amazing life!
I remember recently ordering something and checking on the shipping time I needed. After checking on the delivery windows they estimated, it was within the times I wanted, so I ordered the item.
Days passed and I never heard back about the item being shipped. After a period of time, I made a quick mental calculation about when it would move outside the delivery dates I wanted, and then I started to get really frustrated and angry. I had done all the work to get this item in the timeframe I wanted and it didn’t look like it was going to happen as I had carefully planned.
After getting really angry and frustrated with myself, yes it still happens, I looked at myself as the disinterested fly and just started to laugh. Here I was doing the exact thing I try to help others with and I ended up letting go of my expectations of the item showing up when I wanted and had a good belly laugh at my own expense.
The next day the item showed up on my front porch without any notification.
As you look into the new year and all the experiences you can potentially have, consider being open to new perspectives, understanding a situation from a different angle, or just being open to having a new experience. And don’t forget to embrace the difficult emotions as much as the joyful ones. Feel them and then move on. They add a powerful dimension to the experience.
Embrace your new year and all that comes with it – all the emotions that add the secret sauce – to an amazing and abundant year!