Choosing Joy Doesn’t Mean Ignoring Pain
You’re allowed to celebrate tiny joys and be scared at the same time.
You’re allowed to seek joy and acknowledge the pain.
It’s not an either-or situation — you can do both — it’s vital to do both — especially during times of crisis like this COVID-19 pandemic.
You’re allowed to celebrate the fact that you got out of bed today, and put on different clothes than you were sleeping in, even though every single cell in your body told you to stay in those sweats. It would be easy to stay in sweats, or your pajama set, or whatever you fall asleep in — but you didn’t. You strove to give yourself some sense of normalcy, and you put on pants. And that simple action, in these crazy pandemic wild times, is something to celebrate. But just because you celebrate getting dressed doesn’t mean that you aren’t acknowledging the grief and the fear and the worry that clung to you and made getting out of bed difficult. You know it’s there. You felt it all day yesterday, and last night as you were getting into bed, and it was there when you opened your eyes this morning, too.
You felt it when you woke up this morning — but you chose to put on pants instead. You didn’t let it drag you down further into the rabbit hole of fear — you met the feeling and tried to work through it — and that’s something to celebrate.
Seeking joy is not akin to erasing pain.
Seeking joy means you’re acknowledging the blessings you do have — and grounding yourself in gratitude.
Seeking joy means that you’re pouring your energy into what you can control — not the things that you cannot.
Seeking joy means that you’re opening your eyes to the things that are still good, the light that still exists, and the happy moments that always surround you — despite dire situations.
Goodness like neighbors putting up rainbows in their windows for kids to count as they walk around the neighborhood. Goodness like children who write messages of hope on sidewalks to brighten a stranger’s day. Goodness like friends who text or call to check in on you and make sure you’re ok. Goodness like artists who continue to create — even though they are without a job at the moment, but they do it because they hope it feeds hearts and souls anyway.
Light still exists within every one of those people.
It’s the moments when a neighbor goes out of their way to wave at you from across the street, or when you slow down long enough to appreciate the joy that comes from a walk around the block or realizing the glee that a FaceTime conversation with old friends can bring.
Light is within all of those moments.
Light still exists within you, too.