[Video at the end]
“Cultivating gratitude and joy: “Letting go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark”
I thought I had worked out how to feel truly grateful and not take things for granted, but I think, after watching this video, I have been kidding myself. Do I really enjoy those moments of happiness fully? Or does that niggling thought of, “what if this never happens again… what if I don’t see them again… what if, what if” creep in and take over? Those feelings definitely hover around my mind in moments of happiness and joy which means that I’m not truly enjoying the moment.
I can’t believe just one YouTube video would make it so crystal clear and give me a new outlook on how to practice gratitude.
Dr. Brene Brown and Oprah discuss Dr. Browns book, “Daring Greatly” and highlight the “Guideposts for Wholehearted Living”.
No. 3 – Cultivating gratitude and joy: “Letting go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark”
Dr. Brown explains that “when we lose our tolerance for vulnerability, joy becomes foreboding” – because we are scared joy will be taken away if we don’t acknowledge the other, darker thoughts; meaning that we never fully LEAN INTO those joyful moments, just in case we never have it again.
Even writing that out helps it make sense to me. If we NEVER fully allow ourselves to feel joy, enjoy the moment, and feel truly happy, then we restrict ourselves from living a joyful life – and we do not deserve that!
“In moments of joyfulness we try to beat vulnerability to the punch”
3.22 seconds in
Another key moment in this discussion was when Dr. Brown mentioned what a man once said to her about being joyful.
“My whole life, I never got too excited, too joyful about anything – just stayed in the middle – that way, if things didn’t work out I wasn’t devastated and if they did work out it was a pleasant surprise.”
Writing and reading it back on here has really clicked with me and it seems so silly that many of us (including myself) actually follow his way of thinking without realising.
Then Dr Brown mentioned that after this man lost his wife in a car accident he then said to her:
“the second I realised that she was gone, the first thing I thought was, I should have leaned harder into those moments of joy because that did not protect me from what I feel right now”
Dr. Brown mentions that some of us seem to dress rehearse tragedy, to protect and shield ourselves from bad things BUT this is not the way to live a full, happy life. Instead, all we need to do is practice gratitude.
“Once you actively practice gratitude you go through the day looking for it.”
It made so much sense when she mentioned that a lot of people, after losing someone they love, actually miss the ordinary, smaller, day to day things, rather than the extraordinary things.
So really, it can be so easy to practice gratitude everyday, from the moment you wake up to the people you meet throughout your day. The ordinary things in life should not be taken for granted and by actively practicing gratitude and thinking positively you can then enjoy those moments of joy and happiness fully – shutting out those thoughts of fear and negativity in the background.
It sounds so simple – and it is – but I think for myself and maybe you too, it does take time to train yourself, to slap those negative feelings in the face in moments of joyfulness.
Hope you get as much out of the video as I did. Enjoy!