All these years, these angers, these hardenings, this desire to control, I had thought I had to snap the hand closed to shield joy’s fragile flame from the blasts. In a storm of struggles, I had tried to control the elements, clasp the fist tight so as to protect self and happiness. But palms curled into protective fists fill with darkness. I feel that sharply, even in this…and this realization in all its full emptiness: My own wild desire to protect my joy at all costs is the exact force that kills my joy.

One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp