You know what your havingness level is, even if you never had a word for it. It is the idea that we all have a certain threshold of how much we can tolerate good things happening in our life. How many good feelings you are willing to stand. At first this sounds paradoxical. Me, shying away from good feelings and great situations? Why should I do that? I want good things happening in my life! But do you really though?

We all have experienced situations where our havingless level was overwhelmed. Imagine this: You are in a good situation, feeling well. For example, a wonderful date or receiving praise for a project that went well. How good can you stand this? How much can you enjoy the good things happening to you before it is too much? For me, and likely others as well there is a upper limit of how much good I can tolerate. When my experience is more intense than my havingness level I back down. It feels too much, it should stop. The twisted thing is that I do not acknowledge this. Instead my thoughts shift away from the good thing and focus on things that can go wrong instead. Have I really deserved this much praise? Does this good situation not lead to some problems in a undefined future? This is the trick my mind plays on me. Instead of being honest to myself and accept that I back away from the good things in my life, instead I tell myself a story of terrible things that might happen. By doing this I have successfully shifted away from the good things, while still being able to tell myself that I am just “being realistic” and “considering consequences”.

However, the problem isn’t the good situation or some vaguely defined consequences, the problem is me not being willing to accept all the good things happening in my life. But I want to, I really do. What drives me away is something different. It is fear of agency. If my life has many good things in it, I cannot portray myself as a victim of circumstances. If I have good options before me I can choose. And this is scary, because it means taking control of my own life.

But I want this. I want agency. I want to cherish the good things in my life. This is a pledge to learn: Staying with my own feeling, even if they seem to much; accepting my agency.