Seek joy 

Last week wrung me out in terms of emotion and energy. I didn’t have it in me to write it out. I didn’t really even want to talk about it. 

Today I woke up and two things happened.

1. I realized I need to shift my focus and my thinking. 

2. I haven’t made all the changes I’ve made over the last 6 months to still be sad and miserable. 

So, I kicked my own behind. I started down what I have always thought of as the road to happiness. It starts with gratitude. 

Years ago when I was in the thick of my therapy and really just wading through a giant swamp of depression and negativity my therapist told me to start every day with a gratitude list. If you’re going to adjust your thinking from the negativity you’re used to then you have to start by recognizing what you have. 

It really does work. Every time. 

I read an IG post this morning about fear being bigger than courage and how God teaches through pain, but also teaches through joy. Sometimes it’s just about perspective, and what you train your mind to do. Do you want it to be about things you’re afraid of? Or would you rather it be about all of the good things going on in your life. I’ll tell you this much… sometimes one is easier to focus on than the other. 

Last week had me sitting in such a deep hole of darkness. I felt so low I wasn’t sure I’d get out any time soon. I still think about Steve almost every day and… it’s hard. I can only imagine how his “people” feel. I pray for them collectively. The sudden loss of someone so great is… there are no words. 

I am not built to harbor such continual sadness though. I don’t feel like anyone is. We hang on sometimes because it’s easy, and comfortable to sit, and stew in our pit of despair. Sometimes it’s not about hanging on… it’sabout the courage to get back up and get back to it. I used to think if I recovered from crappy things too quickly it meant that the significance of that thing was diminished. Boy was I wrong.

You can be forever changed by loss, grief, change, trauma, but you can also be forever changed by love, and happiness and joy. There is no set timeframe for feeling things and moving on either. Allowing time to process the hard things we have no control over is all part of life, but you don’t have to do that forever. You don’t have to get stuck in a bad feelings rut. 

I know it’s been just 10 days since the passing of a wonderful man. I’m not sure anyone that was really close to him is going to be ok by now. I met him once casually and it still makes my heart hurt to think about it. 

The truth is though, I didn’t have to know him really well to know that he’d want people he loved to be happy. He’d want their lives to be full and happy.  

Every one of us owes it to ourselves to give joy a chance to bloom in our lives. We all deserve to experience happiness at such  level that it becomes part of our very nature. 

I’m going to continue to seek joy. I’m ready for my life to be more full then it’s ever been before.

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