Many of us have a tendency to focus on the parts of our life that are not exactly as we want them. There is nothing unusual or wrong about this feature of our brains. We naturally pick out what is different, as a way to better manage the world around us and make changes. We need to be able to look at the data around us and assess what it is we need to do to keep ourselves happy, safe, and healthy!
However, there comes a point where we tip right over the edge of constructive consideration into negativity. I admit fully, that I at many times in my life, I have become best friends with anxiety and depression. They will happily keep you company when everything else seems just too much. But even the anxiety/depression combo is different from constant negativity. Having lots of fears and sadness still allows for moments of sweetness, tenderness, and positive acceptance.
So what is it about the negative that has such a pull upon us? My hunch is that we get used to feeling like nothing really going to bring us joy. We become comfortable in our discomfort with the world around us that for us to break beyond that becomes almost unfathomable to us. My goodness what would happen if we skipped…. declared our strengths…. smiled for no reason other than it feels good… or even played a game?
We all agree that having “fun” is good and important but many of us have no idea how that works. It can in fact be really scary to let down your guard if you have had past trauma. Yet, without the small moments of bliss … then we can’t even begin to change the patterns that were set in early on. Don’t we all deserve to take a bike ride and feel that air against our face and giggle with glee about some silly quirk? Isn’t there a point where you have struggled and hurt enough that you can just take a moment to breathe?
I won’t pretend to have a lot of experience with having fun myself. I often question the point of fun. And yet I still seek out something that relieves the stress, makes me laugh, or gets to step outside my hectic pace. I don’t have the answer as to why we should have fun or even what fun is… however I do know that without the full range of emotional response we are cutting ourselves off from a life we so richly long for! This is part of what got us to this point in the first place? Why continue to recreate a pattern when it feels so bad?
If for no other reason then to experiment with yourself, consider focusing on what brings you joy for a few days. Watch the world around you transform… it will I promise. Because, even for a curmudgeon like myself, the moment I am able to peel a label off fully without leaving any of the sticky residue… I feel a beautiful sense of ecstatic joy. It is a small sense of accomplishment that makes my heart sing. It will get my every time and I smile and think that I live a very charmed life.
It’s time to experience yourself in a new way… bring about positive thoughts and feelings…the rewards are instant!