When asked to offer some support to our families in the face of our recent pandemic, I immediately went to the idea of “JOY.” WHY? Because it is so the opposite of what we might be feeling right now, especially with the added loss of a loved one in our lives.
I have often been asked by friends “How can you do the work you do??? It MUST be SOOOO sad!” Though I certainly understand from an outsider’s perspective the idea that working with people who are now trying to live without their loved one has sadness on the journey, there is JOY to be found along the way. Ever heard of the expression “JOY ride?” Well my friends, let’s take one now……
What are your JOY posts along the road? Is it a favorite memory triggered by a photo of fun times together? Or maybe a special song that allows you to smile from ear to ear while humming along or tapping your toe to the tune. Or even that sense of connection through food. My Dad loved bacon (I do too!!!) and the smell of it cooking, the sound of the sizzling strips frying and then of course eating it conjures up memories of Sunday morning breakfasts growing up. Dad at the frying pan, Mom telling him “how to fry the bacon” and my father slipping a piece of the bacon to our beloved dog, unknowingly to my mother! 😉
I recently heard a description of the difference between JOY and HAPPINESS. She said it far more eloquently, yet it was like this: happiness is dependent on things around you whereas JOY lives within you. Happiness is fleeting and can change as those things around you change, yet JOY can always be found as it comes from something within you. How about that?
So my fellow JOY seekers, I encourage you to consider what can unearth that JOY inside of YOU! Even Governor Whitmer in the throes of announcing the “Stay home, stay safe” guideline encouraged taking your Christmas lights out again and hanging them if it will bring you some happiness and joy. The Hallmark channel was running Christmas movie marathons since the start of the pandemic. Guess there is something to be said about needing to connect in a place of JOY to balance out this time of uncertainty in our every day living. You have permission to discover what brings you JOY, with no “JOY-judgement.” Only you can know what will allow you to connect with the joy inside of you.
Where there is JOY, there is love. And where there is love there can be sorrow when missing that in our lives. Our task is to learn how to return to the love and the joy that our time with each other (even now) and the memories of our loved one can offer.
And if you are looking for some inspiration for your Joy ride – ‘cause what’s a ride without some tunes? Here’s one of my happy tunes to support your journey for JOY:
And thanks friends for riding along with me!
Lizanne Chisholm, LPC