- Do you want the best but expect the worst?
- Do you avoid getting your hopes up?
- Are you the master of sabotaging your own dreams & desires?
- Do you dwell in the past, fear the future, & forget to simply be present?
I've noticed a pattern of not letting my soul completely wrap around anything pleasurable, affirming, or good because of this underlying fear that it'll be snatched away before I'm ready to let go. And it's hard to sit in a place of gratitude because I get stuck anticipating which part of my life is going to fall apart next. After enduring what feels like a never-ending series of major losses, heartbreaks, and life changes that have challenged my self-worth, my ability to trust my choices, and trust others; I no longer see the world through rose-colored glasses. I guess that's a good thing. But instead, I see the world through glasses that distort my experiences like a funhouse mirror, making it hard to recognize, be present with, or get excited about the good stuff I attract into my life. I expect the worst; betrayal, disappointment, rejection, loss, and failure. So, even though I'm still a big dreamer and love the idea of pure possibility; and even though I'm constantly seeking newness and adventure; my wildest dreams have stopped feeling possible to me. I go through the motions of chasing them and living life to the fullest, while doubt lurks beneath the surface.
To protect myself from my own mindset, I've stopped attaching any emotion to the good stuff that comes my way. It's like I've desensitized myself to all warm-fuzzies because, to let myself indulge in love, hope, or excitement feels a little too vulnerable for comfort. Sadly, guarding my emotions makes life feels rigid and mechanical, which is definitely not who I am at my core. Ironically when I was younger, I operated completely opposite. I used to emotionally detach from any and all painful experiences, only allowing myself to feel positive emotions. There was no way I was going to surrender to sadness, hurt, or anger.
Now that I've experienced both ends of the detachment spectrum, I've finally come to this realization: Life is an ebb and flow of positive and negative experiences. So it's ludicrous to allow myself to marinate in negative emotions without hesitation, while not giving myself permission to fully feel the positive ones. Yes, there will always be those who hurt, disappoint, or even betray me. And I can't completely avoid periods of uncertainty or self-doubt. But I can choose where my spirit dwells knowing that every life experience can contribute to increased self-awareness and personal growth. Learning to feel all the feels, manage and grow from them, is the human experience.
Which emotions do you hide from the most and why? How can embracing those emotions contribute to your own self-awareness and personal growth?