Hi Friend! We're so glad you're here.
As we head into one of the busiest times of the year, we are faced with a range of emotions. Hopefully you will feel joy and happiness throughout the holiday season. But other emotions are possible. So what do we do when we find ourselves faced with feelings we don't like, with drama we don't want, and with the unexpected arguments that may arise?
I believe it takes courage for us to choose how we want to feel and to choose to be okay feeling all the emotions that come up. Sometimes we do what Brene Brown calls Foreboding Joy by not allowing ourselves to really experience the joy we feel because we are too busy worrying about the "what if?" and "what now?". Brene Brown said, "Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience...if you cannot tolerate joy, what you do is you start dress rehearsing tragedy." Let me illustrate how I see this quote with a couple of little stories. Say you go out with friends or a family and have a great time. While out you may think things like, "they must think ____ about me", "what if they just invited me out of pity", "I have so much to do when I get home that is not fun", "what if the kids aren't okay", and so on. Any negative thought you feel at this point is dress rehearsing tragedy. Another example is feeling a deep love for a child only to then think something like "oh God please keep them safe". This type of thinking is what Brown would call "foreboding joy." I believe we all do this at times. We can see something to be grateful for but that thought only lasts a millisecond before we smash it with thoughts that push those feelings away.
Another quote that helps me realize that the light we have doesn't have to leave just because there is darkness is, "The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It's our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows." Maybe instead of trying to push those joyful moments aside we can instead feel grateful and blessed to be in that moment. The last quote I have from Brown is, "I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude." Gratitude is always available, we just need to see it.
If you are planning a Thanksgiving meal with family, you may have a range of emotions. All those emotions are real and perfectly normal and okay. Maybe when you feel that joy that is pure and wholesome you can take a second to recognize feeling joy, to feel it deep, to be grateful for it and to receive it as a gift. Then when the not so great feelings come maybe you can pause and say, this is ___________ emotion, it's not comfortable but I know it won't last. Then wait and see what happens. You may find it will dissipate and leave. You may find it doesn't seem as scary as it really seemed at first. Being able to recognize emotions and to sit with them is powerful, and I believe it gives Satan less power. When we push negative feelings away and try to cover them up or keep ourselves busy so we don't have to feel them, over time they build and seem to get bigger and bigger. Allow yourself to feel them, give them to God and the peace that will come will be very powerful!
We at Jackzeeplace hope and pray that you all have a fabulous holiday season wherever you live. If there is a gift we could give you it would be that you allow yourself to really feel this holiday. Feel the good, the bad, and uncomfortable and recognize that all feelings are that, just feelings. This sounds simple but practicing it may not be so simple so give yourself grace and keep trying, feeling pure joy and love is worth all the pain and sorrow that will come through the process! God bless each and every one of you and your families!
Christy and the family
P.S. You can save 25% off our Nativity Sets this week with the code NOV25. But if you share our shop on social media and tag @jackzeeplace, we'll give you you're own personal code to get 40% off! Check it out here.
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