Sometimes, I look in the mirror and think FUCKING HELL, I’M FUCKING GORGEOUS! The world should be expressing endless gratitude for the privilege of gazing upon my fucking splendour, so magnificent is my visage!
Then, other times, I let out an involuntary vocalisation as I am physically accosted by my own tired, grey appearance. I wouldn’t say I recoil in horror, exactly, but I’m somewhere in that region. My reflection is jolting. I look amusingly bad.
The other day, though, I thought if I were an animal, I’d be a Tibetan wolf. And then I thought no, that’s the wrong animal. And then I googled it. And then I thought if I were an animal, I’d be a Tibetan fox.
It’s so precarious. We are so vulnerable. What we have can be stolen so quickly; so easily; so unpredictably.
It’s safer to just stay fine.
If we don’t let joy in, we can’t be hurt when we inevitably lose the source of our joy. When it dies, or gets corrupted, or we find out it was all a con in the first place. If we don’t let joy in, nothing can ever take it out.
That’s why we’re cynical – because we’re cowards, and we would prefer to hide in our shady cave of fine, rather than risk the scarring interplay of bright light and deep dark. Joy is fleeting. That is a fact. We cannot keep it. And, once we’ve held it, we will always feel its absence when it’s gone.
In my pursuit of a wholehearted life, I have tried my best to let joy in. But my strategy has been to find joy in small things. To cultivate gratitude for simple pleasures. To savour the moment. To put my feet in the grass. To listen to the wind. To make joy more abundant, which makes it safer to hold.
I have been successful.
But, still, when I am faced with the threat of something really fucking good happening, I quake. And I say no, that’s not for me. Such good things don’t happen to me.