“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”
Jonathan Safran Foer
This quote means a lot to me. When I first read it, I immediately wrote it down and stuck it above my bed. It is a mantra that I try to live by.
Because when I avoid the difficult topics in my life, I know that I’m not just avoiding those topics. I’m actually avoiding the ability to look at those things at all. I’m avoiding the courage to look deeply into myself. And what that means is that when the awkward or difficult times have passed and good times come my way, I have less capacity to feel the fullness of the moments they bring. When I shut myself off to anything, I begin the process of shutting myself off from everything.
When given the opportunity to, emotions will always take the path of least resistance. If we are accustomed to avoiding difficult or uncomfortable situations, it only becomes easier and easier to choose to avoid them. The challenge we face, is to look beyond what is comfortable and lean into the discomfort of difficult situations and conversations.
This week I will be honest with myself about what I have been avoiding. I will be gentle and forgiving with myself, but truthful about the aspects of my life that I would like to look at through a more authentic and direct lens.