I was looking around my house the other day and realized, I have a good life. My plants are growing in the windows, my cat is cuddly and my husband has truly made an effort to understand me. That is a milestone, really! I am thinking that the aging process has a lot to do with how a person sees JOY. I know that for along time I was searching for it. I failed. I was looking in the wrong places.
What is JOY: 1 : a feeling of pleasure or happiness that comes from success, good fortune, or a sense of well-being. 2 : something that gives pleasure or happiness.
That is redundant. Happiness, pleasure, comfort and joy. They all are similar, so defining what the true meaning is has to be done by each individual. There is not instructions on how to be happy or have pleasure. As a child, baby for example; a baby puts everything in their mouth. Not because that is what a baby does, it is that the baby is trying to define their environment and what tastes, and feels good. As a toddler, they are looking to expand their environment to find news ways to feel good. Little ones have no reference for happiness and joy, but a smile on your face and a loving touch makes the baby smile and be calm. (Sometimes).
I feel we forget the simple and there is the problem, not saying to put everything in your mouth, but smile.
Relating this to my illnesses, (fibromyalgia and the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and Major Depression), JOY can be very hard to identify. Living with chronic pain and taking medication for pain and anti-depressants to survive can destroy JOY. It has taken me 56 years to allow myself to enjoy “THINGS.” Anything. I am not discounting my life as I have aged, but there is one thing to understand, the trauma that I experienced in my life has left deep scars on my brain. I have not a lot of memories of being young because of abuse.
That is another story. Today is JOY! The reason I wrote the above paragraph is to give a small look into why having joy is a big deal to me. I have struggled to remind myself that I am truly grateful for the life I am living NOW. I can see the beauty in every day. I can feel joyful that my marriage has survived my “crazy.” I can be happy that I have a wonderful family that loves me even when I have pushed them away and been hateful.
I spent the afternoon with a friend that I have known for a long time. She and I just hung out and talked. I am safe with her because she accepts me. The whole day I smiled and laughed and just was goofy. Now I remember that day and know that JOY was all over it. We didn’t go anywhere, we didn’t spend any money, we were just there in her backyard, playing with her puppy, sitting in the sun and talking. About Nothing! Being! One of the best times of my life, JOY!
Today is Monday, usually not a good day for me and here it is overcast and my body is rejecting any physical labor. I have a list of things I hope to accomplish and my brain is smiling. I am peaceful and I feel I will succeed in my endeavors. OK, that sounds profound, Shit I am gonna get things done. And be HAPPY about it. How’s that for JOY. Happy doing chores. Anytime I have the energy to do anything I am happy.
I try not to be know-it-allishy, but I feel that here’s some advice: find small things. THINGS: defined as an activity that makes you smile. JOY is something that you need to have an active role in. If it is using just your brain to visualize your happy place, going on a walk or driving in the car. DO SOMETHING! Remember to be MINDFUL and PRESENT, FEEL the JOY. LAUGH, watch a Comedy. There is JOY inside all of us and sometimes it’s hard to find, but it is there.
I remember that song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Even if that starts repeating in your brain, after awhile you will laugh because it is really hard not to be happy when you are totally thinking about BEING HAPPY!
Look for the small things!!!!!
LUNATIC FRINGE FOREVER…………..