I threw a party for my son’s 2nd birthday last week. This is kind of a really-huge Everest-sized sort of triumph in my world.
But, instead, I took a healthy heaping of grief, then decided to mix in some joy and make some lemonade out of the sugar and sour I’d been handed.
My Grandmother lived in joy, and she loved a good party. She would not have wanted me moping around, draping tears around my neck like fluffy new scarves. She would’ve wanted me making Traffic Light Rice Krispy Treats, licorice-topped cupcakes, apple and grape cars, and all the fixins’ for a delicious taco bar!
I believe my decision to choose joy each day is causing more joy to come to fruition in my life. It’s really amazing to watch this principle of manifestation multiply right before me. I keep focusing on joy, and it keeps multiplying like embryonic cells.
Since I started this new joy campaign, JOY has shown up in my life in new and unexpected ways daily.
Hard times still come, as I shared in my last post “Expect the Worst.” But, I’m starting to see how joy and sorrow, life and death, can all coexist in my life. I’m learning that they can coexist, instead of taking me up on their high’s and then – bam! – crashing down on their low’s, on the most nightmarish rollercoaster ride that has been my life for three years.
Everything is a teeter-totter of balance – everything in doses and pieces to fit into a crazy-wonderful mix of the picture puzzle of my life.
I’m not condoning or condemning “good” or “bad” experiences anymore – they are all life, and life is a gift. When I am not “for” or “against” anything – it’s all a nice, easy flow. Funny how I’ve been giving up control and taking it, all at once.
I guess it’s like that old Serenity Prayer we’ve all heard.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
I take responsibility for creating joy in my life. I’ve crawled out of my hermit’s hut on the hill, and started to immerse myself in the swimming waters of life again, and thus, there’s superfluous puddles of joy to dance in suddenly.
I also know, that “this too shall pass.” I let the good times roll but know they will soon roll away, too, so I dance even more in my rain puddles because I know soon they’ll evaporate back into air.
You might be thinking, “It’s easy to be happy and joyous when things are going well, for the most part, for you, Megan.” But you’re wrong – it is NOT easy to be happy right now. I could easily carry the scars of the last few years with me – hell, I could carry the scars of the last few months with me, if I wanted. I could wake up sad every day for the struggles we’ve had with this recession, brokenhearted for the three grandparents who’ve passed this last year, throwing an “It’s not fair!” temper tantrum over how many times we’ve had to move, and so on.
But, instead, I choose joy. It’s work, I must admit. It has not come naturally. Somewhere in all that mess of grief and losing, I had started to “expect the worst” in a different way. I expected that life would fling more mud at me daily. I drug myself out of bed daily, dressing myself in garbs of self-loathing, awaiting the next garbage truck to spill more debris in my life.
Now, I am re-training myself. I wake up, breathe, and ask myself, “What do I want from this day?” I tell myself, “Today’s going to be a great day!” O.K., I know it sounds kind of cheesy but hey, what’s wrong with a little cheese factor if it makes you smile?!
A “great day” doesn’t have to be perfect – a great day can be any day. Any day I’m alive is a great day, now. Bad news may come, and on some level, I expect it – I know it is always a possibility. I am no longer naive to that fact. But, I am also no longer naive to the fact that I can’t control any of that! I can only fish in my own stream, know what I mean? Storms may come, but I choose to be the more immovable eye in the center of them. Of course, I’m human, so I’m going to feel joy and sorrow, but now I see, that peace is always possible. Taking a moment each day to feel the space around everything – that inner space that is always there, no matter what’s happening – gives me peace that I can carry through anything.
Nowadays, I’m looking for ways to spark giggles, ignite giddiness, invite bliss, and relish joy. So, I threw a party, which is something I hadn’t done in a long while – and I did it, just for the joy of it!
What could you do just for the joy of it today? I think the more outrageous it sounds, the better off you’ll be. Go big or go home. Make it a “great” day!