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Why Do I Write About Joy?

Updated: Jan 11

Why do I write about joy? Because I have known so much pain.

So much pain. The deep soul crushing kind that makes you question everything you know. Everything you are. Your value. Your belief system. Your very being. To the point of wondering if life is worth living at all if darkness can swallow you whole like that. Pain that makes you terrified to reach for light and love, because you question if you even deserve it, or whether you would ever be "enough" to sustain it.

I was the victim of long term childhood abuse, carried out by someone that I should have been able to trust. Being very young and scared, it took me 9 years to summon the courage to finally tell my parents and free myself of it. This leaves scars on the mind and heart. I have physical scars too from several serious surgeries, with extensive recoveries. In addition, I've had 9 full term pregnancies, and 2 that ended in miscarriage. Childbirth has brought me to the highest of highs with the arrivals of each of my amazing kids, but has plunged me to some very low lows also. My weight and hormones have been on a Yo-Yo string for years, with the accompanying health and emotional swings. I've been married twice, to men I loved very much, and my heart has been shattered as both of those marriages went down in the fiery flames of divorce, just as my Mom and Dad's marriage had when I was a child. I've lost a business I worked years to build. I've lost money - a LOT - with comforts and security vanishing along with it, leaving me often working multiple jobs at once, while also struggling to manage life as a single mother to a very large family. I've watched as addiction stole the spark from the eyes of people I love. A long held faith died a slow marching death inside of me, and honestly this hurt and confused me above all else. Depression has been an occasional visitor, and anxiety a constant companion.

To put decades of pain into the words of a single paragraph doesn't really do justice to the powerful emotions involved, but there it is in black and white. A lifetime of aching. I would imagine that anyone reading this has a personal pain paragraph of their own as well. Suffering seems to be a universal experience, in all of its varying forms. I'm only sharing this to let others know that I have been right there in the mire of it too. I understand fully that life really hurts sometimes.

So why do I write about joy? Because while on this long journey through pain I have learned that joy is the cure, much like sunlight peeking through the clouds after a storm. Joy and her sisters - gratitude, love and enthusiasm - provide a healing balm to a wounded soul. I've also learned that even in the worst of times, joy is always present if we have the eyes to see. Sometimes we just simply have forgotten how to feel happiness, and need to be reminded. Sometimes we are seeking it in the wrong places. Writing about joy is my way of personally remaining aware and open-minded, so that I keep noticing and embracing it myself. It is also my meager offering of love, and my effort to possibly lift up someone else who is struggling to stand. To convey that there is reason to hope. To smile. To breathe.

Darkness can be transformed into a light-filled joy story. Let's write it together.

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