I finally settled down and turned my attention to one of the books I am reading. It was discussing how people believe joy is a limited resource. That the reason that people might have a hard time being happy for people is because they believe that if someone else is happy it takes away from their happiness. This theme of joy, empathy, sweetness or kindness being a limited resource has come up in my trainings and other readings.
It is a belief that I have sometimes. I forget when I am exhausted, in pain, frustrated or stressed that fruit still tastes sweet. Last night I chose to cancel some plans with a friend because I really wasn't feeling well. When Adam left for an event, I realized I didn't have my normal food in the house. Since I was in no shape to safely drive, I needed to get creative. I needed to drop this idea that there wasn't enough and focus on what was in front of me. (Do not misunderstand, this was not a fast and easy process. I had a number of anxiety attacks, looking through the fridge and freezer.)
So where is the idea that pain, sadness or all those other uncomfortable things associated with life are scarce? When Sterling passed away, my mom told me "that's three, the cloud will pass by you for now." It is a common belief in my family, that bad things happen in threes. However it is accepted that the cloud will come back at some point. For me this idea leads to fear and bracing for impact, it is my default setting. It is only through practice that I remember and am able to shift my focus to other things.
Joy, empathy, connection, love and kindness are precious, they are invaluable. Is that where this idea of them being a limited resource comes from? That for us to hold something close and dear it needs to be a rare event? Can something be precious and abdunant? Can something be abdunant and not taken for granted?
I have approached these feelings and states with caution. Perhaps I believe that if I am in a joyous state too much that I will take it for granted, that the medicine will eventually become my poison. My struggle right now is more with energy levels then emotions I am always calculating and guessing how much energy I have. I always want to make sure I have "enough for the swim home", maybe I need to start chosing the trust that the energy will be there to help me get home. It is a little bit like saving China only for special occasions, why only bring out joy when things are just "right."
Question to consider: What are you looking for more of in your life right now? Do you believe it is a limited resource or maybe like me and you believe you are the limited resource?