Not five minutes later I was envelope-in-hand, heading to the bank.
In all this hustle and bustle of running errands, I also was listening to an amazing audiobook, Brené Brown's The Power of Vulnerability, which my friend Andrea had given to me.
The book is powerful. It's the sort of good, hard book that is as wonderful as it is unpleasant. It's about the relationship between vulnerability and shame in your life.
It made me cry, I mean real, out loud sobbing, at least four times today. I saw in it so many things about myself, my life, what motivates me, and my own demons. I am incredibly hard on myself. I can be a perfectionist, which has a very big relationship to shame. There's this part of the book where Brené talks about how she was super sick, amazingly, extremely like death's door sick, during a pregnancy, but wanted to bring work with her to the hospital, because "she doesn't get sick."
That sounded SO DAMN MUCH like my inner narrative about not making financial mistakes.
A bit later she was talking about how people experience a sort of foreboding joy. You are always waiting for that other shoe to drop. Sure, work is going well, but... you might get fired. Sure, your partner is spanking and diapering you, and told you how much they want to tie you up and tickle you like you've always wanted... but something bad is going to happen to them, or you. (By the way, I really don't like tickling, it's just an example.)
There is however, an antidote to this sort of automatic mode of waiting for that damn shoe. It's the actual, conscious practice of gratitude.
Let me say that again.
The way you lean into joy, the way you live without succumbing to shame and fear is to make a daily practice of gratitude.
The same practice I've been doing in my life for a long time. Sometimes I've been spot on with it, totally rocking it each day. Other times I've let it go, and even though I've observed my gratitude to myself, I haven't written it down.
I'm not going to ding myself for that. That's not what this is. (Besides, perfectionism is self-shaming, remember?) I'm just SO GRATEFUL that I'm aware of how healthy, life-affirming and good my practice of gratitude is, and once more, I'm all in on it.
Oh, I'm also kind of wrong about ageplay and community - but I'll get into that in another post, soon.