Finding Joy in Life, Part 1

October 26, 2009

This is turning into a rather long post, so I am going to split it up into two.

After reading Tough Time of Year and Survivor Guilt, a dear friend asked me a question: is it difficult to EVER let yourself be happy and carefree? She understands that I struggle with my background.

Well…the answer to that is “yes”…and “no”. I don’t know if I can adequately explain this, but I’ll try.

Even though the huge majority of my life has been filled with struggles, I have found many times when I would just enjoy living. Sometimes it was only for moments…an afternoon or even a day…especially in the darkest times. Sometimes, though, there have actually been short periods of time when I was able to feel more joy. During those periods of time, it was not that life was completely free of struggles. It was just that the struggles were in the minority.

I think it also important to distinguish between happiness and joy. Happiness depends upon what is happening…circumstances. Joy is something I can have deep inside even when I am sad or unhappy on the outside. Joy comes from knowing who I am and that I have a Creator who loves me and who will, someday, bring me out of this temporary world filled with such a mix of beauty and evil to a forever place where evil is banished.

While I am still in this temporary world, though, so much depends upon my attitude. I have always worked hard at trying to see the positive side of things…of making the best with what I have. I haven’t always been successful at that, but I have tried. Even in the most negative of times when I questioned my very sanity and wondered if I would survive, I kept on trying to find something to be joyful about. And even in those times, I did find things. It was not easy. In fact, a lot of the time it was a battle. I had to fight.

Being able to see things to enjoy…even if they were very simple things…made life at least bearable. Sometimes it was the beauty of flowers, or of trees, or of the skies. Sometimes it was simply the fact that I had the ability to actually see those things…that my eyes worked. I guess what I am saying is that I found things to be grateful for even in the midst of the darker times. Finding something to enjoy and be grateful for was one of the things that kept me going in the really desperate of times.

Another thing that kept me going was acceptance. I worked very hard on simply accepting that this was my lot in life. That was another thing I was not able to do completely, which was actually a good thing. There did come a point in time when my Creator made it known that I had to get myself and my children out of the situation we were in. Had I been able to find total acceptance, I don’t know that I could have done that.

In addition, there are some things that simply are NOT acceptable. Recognizing that can be tricky, though. I mean…I am no better than anyone else. So, in that sense, I don’t deserve any better than anyone else…and there are many who had it far worse than I did. I am far from perfect. I have treated people badly at times, albeit not intentionally. Still, why should I deserve better? Especially if what was happening was the result of the choice I made in whom to marry? (There is a bit of a question as to how much of that was truly choice, but that is another story.)

Still, there are some things that are unacceptable…period. It does not matter who you are or what you have done…certain behaviours toward another person are plainly unacceptable. For example…being sexually abused and raped by your spouse. I know…some are saying “what”? How can one spouse rape another? Well…let me tell you. If one does not want sex and the other forces it…that is rape.

Beating someone is unacceptable. I am not talking here about a swat on the behind for discipline reasons here. I am talking about fists…about slapping…about shoving or pushing. That is not acceptable. Nor is mental/emotional abuse such as name calling, cussing someone out, putting a person down. No one deserves to be treated that way…NO ONE. It can be really tough.

Go to the next post. Finding Joy in Life, Part 2.

One comment

  1. […] Who Keeps Me Going ← Finding Joy in Life, Part 1 […]

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