I learned early in life not to get too excited when good things were happening around me lest I jinx myself into disappointment. I was always waiting for something negative to occur after a period of happiness.
If I was going to the beach with my family for example, something would invariably happen to tarnish the trip. All enjoyment came with a price. There was always a storm after the calm.
I still have a hard time allowing myself to get excited about future plans. I still can be too careful not to show any degree of success in fear that it gets taken away.
It’s not easy for me to let myself get excited about a future event. I don’t know yet how to be happy about a plan without worrying about life punishing me for being too happy.
I wanted to shield myself from getting hurt so much that I ended shielding myself from joy. Brene Brown says that one of the ways we can stop this behavior that she calls foreboding joy is by practicing gratitude.
This Gratitude practice in my own experience shifts my focus from what I am lacking to the wonderful life I have.
A feeling of doom came over me as I wrote the part about “my wonderful life” but I forced myself to type it. I make a decision every day to be happy no matter what the external circumstances are in my life.
Some days are harder than others. Some days I prefer to enjoy my misery instead of taking action but now I am aware of my propensity to forebode joy.
Happiness is not something I can buy or find outside of myself. There is no person or thing that can give me everlasting happiness. I can only be happy when I stop thinking only about myself and start giving back without expectations to those around me.