I’m a big fan of shame-researcher Brene Brown, and her work on vulnerability and connection. I recently finished her book The Gifts of Imperfection, and as with almost anything she’s written, it touched me and made me think. Here’s one of the things she said that moved me most:
“I’ve learned that playing down the exciting stuff doesn’t take the pain away when it doesn’t happen. It does, however, minimize the joy when it does happen.” -Brene Brown
This is something I struggle with all the time. I’ve learned, over the years, to keep my expectations low, so that my hopes are not dashed. It’s not to say that there’s no wisdom in that approach, but sometimes, your hopes are dashed even if you’re afraid to admit that you have them. And other times, you’ve missed all the lovely anticipation that’s at least half the joy of the good stuff.
If you can’t really spare yourself the pain, why bother curbing the anticipation and excitement? Maybe it’s just about remembering that we’re bigger than the things we hope for, whether we get them or not. And we can survive the experience of gaining or losing, no matter how much it might seem otherwise, in the moment.