From childhood I was taught that if you have fun you have to suffer afterward.
My grandmother’s favorite story was about the man who retired and the next day he died. She would tell a different version of this story again and again, until my sister and I eventually made a game of it. We would tell each other stories ,mimicking my grandmothers Italian accent, about people who finally got what they wanted in life and then died immediately. Needless to say, if this is what you believe, you’re not going to want anything too good to happen. Later in life, If I were going on vacation and the car broke down I would be relieved that “the bad thing” had happened and I had survived it.
So a few years ago I began to change my life and lots of good things started to happen. In the beginning it was still difficult enough for me to feel safe with the balance of good and bad. But as time passed, the good stuff started to outweigh the bad. When I felt “too” good, I repeated my mantra, “That’s Grandma’s story, not mine, I don’t believe it anymore.” Then I would knock on wood and wait for the catastrophe to happen.
Recently I heard the idea, that joy actually brings more joy. That the best thing we could do for ourselves and others is fill ourselves up with love which will radiate and expand to those around us. That we can trust the good stuff and can’t have too much of it. This doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen, it just means that good doesn’t bring about bad.
So this morning, as I was beginning to get scared, because it felt like life was just too good, I thought of accepting the good the same way I accepted the difficult. And with a little help, decided to trust that joy does bring more joy and there can’t be too much love.