Joy can be vulnerable

When we hear the word “vulnerability,” we often think of unpleasant feelings such as shame, embarrassment, doubt, sadness, fear, and insecurity. By contrast, the concept of “joy” is often associated with resilient exuberance. And that may be true in certain moments. But usually the momentary bliss of spontaneous unselfconsciousness does not last long before it is replaced by a sudden awareness that others are watching and reality still abides by its usual principles.

We may have been taught that joy is silly. That there is no time for childlike wonder. That our enthusiasm is irksome, our…



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