Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Joy in the Junk

Face it! We all have a lot of junk to deal with.  Every day, all day long, life interferes with our selves, so to speak. Life infringes upon our thoughts, our plans, our hope, our dreams. We all know the not so cute little saying: "Life sucks!" Well, sometimes it really does.

So how do I stay so hopeful and find joy most of the time.  And I really do.  I am not a worrier.  I have worries, or things, complications, situations, and most of my life, that is not under my control.  But I do not sit there stressing about it, wringing my hands and hyperventilating.  That just isn't my nature. 

From the time I was young I learned to escape.  I know I have mentioned this before.  I honestly believe this coping mechanism allowed me to survive some tough times growing up and as an adult.  When I was younger, though, I never really knew what joy was. How do I get it? How do I maintain it? How do I keep it from slipping away when I get irritated and bothered by LIFE?

As I got older I began to exchange escapism for joyful productivity.  Sometimes it was sewing, quilting, knitting or crocheting.  Much of the time it was cooking and baking.  I found that instead of just hiding away with a book and disappearing from my life to avoid the pain I could work through it. 

But then after many years struggling with illness I seemed to arrive at a place where I have joy just being.

Sounds like Nirvana, right? I am an intense person.  I feel deeply.  I give generously.  I care too much sometimes.  My personality type often sees injustice in everything.  And I really do. 

So how in the world does someone like me find joy? I took control of a few basic things like kicking really awful, negative people out of my life.  Sounds terrible doesn't it?  But I came to the conclusion that it was necessary or I was going to completely disintegrate and disappear.  My decision has brought great hardship upon me and my children but I wouldn't change it for the world.  And my children all agree with me (well, most of them). 

Sometimes you have to stand up and say, "Enough!!!"

I had to stand up for myself.  I had to go against my church, my husband, even much of my family in order to find relief from the horrible emotional suffering I was experiencing.  But I did it.

Joy is found in being yourself, not who or what someone else wants you to be.  Joy is found in giving yourself permission to enjoy life.  I no longer feel guilty for enjoying food, wine, walking in the park, capturing a sunrise, telling my children we are having sandwiches for dinner.  Joy is found in a moment.

How do you find joy?


  1. It's so hard to learn how to hear your own voice deep inside -- especially when it's in conflict with other people, other groups that matter to you. it takes time. And difficulties rarely just start BAM all at once, they sneak up, they start in an ok way, slip into something a little bit bad but benign, and slowly become malignant but that process is hard to spot. When did it suddenly become too much, how do we figure that out for ourselves. What struck me in this post is that you're talking about the joy of freedom, of liberation, and that's an amazing thing to experience.

    And then too, the joy of self-sufficiency in the midst of having people in your life. The joy of creation, the joy of being present for whatever it is, and knowing you can bear whatever it is. That's a mighty lot of joy, and I'm so glad you have it. :)

    1. I know it is human nature for groups to impose their collective will on their members, so, sadly, it is often necessary to disconnect from these groups in order to really find freedom. The people belonging to those groups then feel rejected individually. I wish it wasn't so.

      Ah, the joy of self-sufficiency still eludes me but is, hopefully, in my near future.

      I know you are experiencing all kinds of joy in many areas of your life and I celebrate that joy with you. Yes, it brings me joy to see my friends happy.