Exchange “Shy” for “Shine”

A Quick Trick to Deepening Happiness When it is Already There

In the past two days I’ve gotten to connect with two people who exhibited shyness over feeling positive emotions.

I am fairly certain everyone has had this experience before. Rationally this does not make too much sense, especially when the emotions are open, loving, happy, alive, peaceful, strong, and relaxed. Yet think of how often we respond to getting a compliment by blushing and turning away, slightly embarrassed by the praise.

Today I invite you to pause in moments of shyness and notice if there is any “shine” of positive emotions that you are afraid to share. Are you feeling proud? Joyous? Grateful? Is your shyness covering this shine?

It is totally fine to feel shy—to feel a little uncomfortable with these overwhelmingly positive feelings in the situation you are in, with the people around you. I do not in any way want to demean shyness; I simply want you to notice if you are hiding from a feeling. Then you can choose if you want to express the shyness, or more fully embody and express the feeling you are shy about. You have more freedom.

You could pay attention to the block that keeps you from shining. Is it shame? Embarrassment? Fear of being rejected? Fear of anything? My friend on Monday said she was “afraid she might explode” if she felt any more of the positive gratitude she was experiencing in that moment, and embarrassment about feeling that way since it did not make any rational sense.

This paying attention to the block is useful, but it is work, and I encourage you to also play. Enjoy life, and the moment, by choosing also to more fully feel the shine.

At least once, when you notice it, choose to express the positive feeling(s) and see what happens. My experience is that when we do this, our hearts open to greater levels of joy, connection, intimacy. This can be scary. It can even feel like a death, since this level of emotion might be unfamiliar and therefore appear to threaten the normal sense of who we think we are.

But it is always beautiful.

“We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.”

– Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”, Ch. 7, Section 3 (1992), p. 190.

Image: some rights reserved by evan courtney

Category: Psych

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