Confession: Sometimes I start writing installments and never finish them. A combination of busyness and good ole fashioned self-doubt offers the one-two punch, and down she goes, into the barren wasteland that is the “drafts” tab of Commode To Joy.
I recently scrolled through old drafts to realize that some of them — including a couple that are several years old — still have a pulse. And so? I’ve breathed new life into them and will be releasing them here every Tuesday for the next five weeks, one for each week in October. Be on the lookout for these Take a Shift Tuesday installments in your inbox.
While each installment has an individual takeaway, there remains an overarching theme within the series:
That idea you had. The thing that you began and then walked away from. Whether it’s been a few weeks, months, or years. It still exists. So long as you’re living, it exists with you. It’s not too late — it’s never too late — to dust it off and try again.
Whatever it is you’ve walked away from: don’t give up hope; give up your limiting mindset. Read this series. Take a mental shift, and get back to it.
When the Going Gets Good
July 15, 2019
“What am I supposed to learn from this?”
If you’re the least bit introspective or have done any form of self-help, it’s a question you’ve asked yourself. The approach tends to be applied to the hard stuff in life — the grit, grime, grief, and any other form of commode-like experiences that are thrown your way.
But here’s the thing (come close so I can whisper): My life’s been really good for a while now.
And if I’m being completely honest with you, I’m hesitant to admit it.
In Brené Brown’s Netflix special “The Call to Courage,” she discusses courage and vulnerability. Of the human emotions, she cites joy as being the most vulnerable. Consequently, we’re terrified to feel it.
“We are so afraid that if we let ourselves feel joy, something will come along and rip it away from us, and we will get sucker-punched by pain and trauma and loss,” she says. “So that in the midst of great things, we literally dress rehearse tragedy.”
Standing over your child sleeping — loving their preciousness — and then considering the devastation you’d feel if you were to lose them.
Realizing that life is good — house is good, family’s good, work’s good, health is good — and then having that “oh shit” moment.
We hold our breaths waiting for that other shoe to drop, because surely it will, right? Roses can’t remain in bloom forever.
Instead of holding your breath, use it to ask “What am I supposed to learn from this?” If we’re so willing to ask it of ourselves when life gets hard, why not also ask it while the going’s good?
What can be learned from having all your kids under one roof, safe and sound? What can be learned from having a steady paycheck? What can your body (that carries you literally through everything) teach you? Or your mind that helps you run your universe?
What can be learned from having a sturdy roof overhead?
A climate-controlled house?
A warm bed?
A full tummy?
I can’t learn your lessons for you, but I can point out a universal answer: Gratitude. It’s the response to all the good going on in my life — and in yours.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going, so they say. To that I’ll add: When the going gets good, the good get grateful.
The next time you catch the door of joy opening, in that small pause, when you consider denying entry, don’t let fear slam the door closed.
Just say thanks.
Because if any of it ever goes away, you’ll look back knowing you saw the good while you had it and you cherished it. And that knowing?
Is the whole point.