Friday, January 13, 2012

Borrowing Joy

Did you ever notice that it's a lot harder to imagine wild success than to fear dismal failure?

Did you ever realize that most of our "what ifs" concern how we will react to things that go wrong rather than how we'll deal with things that go right?

Have you ever met someone who, like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh, always sees a dark cloud behind every silver lining; who, when greeted with "Good morning!" responds with "If it doesn't rain"?

I've met people like Eeyore, people who, however hopeful the circumstances or positive the occasion, can always name at least one possible chain of events that's sure to spoil everything.  Rather than enjoying the moment, these people get a perverse enjoyment from hanging on to negative possibilities with all of the tenacity of a dog gnawing a well-loved bone.  In so doing, they usually make themselves and those around them miserable.

My mother called such thoughts and attitudes "borrowing trouble." When she heard one of her children indulging in them, her response was "Don't borrow trouble.  You already have more than enough without it."

A wise woman, my mother.  Rather than borrowing trouble, mother encouraged us to borrow joy!

Borrow joy?  Is it even possible?

I know that it is.

I have met more than a few people who embody the concept.  These people sparkle in their approach to life and reaction to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.  When greeted with "Good morning", they are as apt as not to reply "And getting better all the time!" or "And one helluva fine morning it is!" After greeting them, you realize that it really is one helluva fine morning and getting better all the time.

The strange thing is that, far from having experienced an easier life or better circumstances than the Eeyore's, these individuals have most often experienced much the same and even worse.  Yet even in the most adverse circumstances, rather than "borrowing trouble" they are able, from some internal reservoir, to borrow hope and joy!

It is written that you get what you borrow.  Borrow trouble, and you get it.  Borrow hope and you get it.  Borrow joy and you get that too.  It's entirely up to you.

What will you borrow in 2012?

Is what you're borrowing something you really want to have?

The choice is yours.