Reaching For Joy

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It’s easy to be overcome by events in our lives.  Sometimes, we go through things that are so profound, and so tragic, they can stop us in our tracks.  We may have trouble moving forward again.  People lose loved ones… parents, friends, and children.  Ending a marriage, or losing custody of children  can be devastating.  Stress, depression, and anxiety can bear down like a cloud that will not break.

When you are grieving, other people sometimes decide when it’s time to “get over it”.  When I hear of instances like this, I pause to wonder.  Are we ever supposed to “get over” these life altering events?  Waking up one day during a period of mourning and saying, “there, I’m better now”, seems stranger than a prolonged period of sadness.  It becomes part of who you are.

I think that that’s the key.  Accepting that it is part of your story.  The trick is not letting it define you.  It’s something that you carry with you for the rest of your life, but it’s not the essence of who you are.

We must be kind to ourselves, and allow ourselves to heal.  This recovery usually has some real twists and turns.  I think it becomes difficult to let people in to help.  Often, we feel as though we have to fight these battles alone. It can be hard to reach out to people who can nurture us.

Accepting that you deserve to be happy is tough to do, sometimes.  You may fall short of the mark as you reach for joy, but keep reaching.  Staying positive is crucial.  Twelve step programs advocate taking a “One day at a time” approach.  I’ve written before about my strategy that I call “Keep putting on foot in front of the other”.  Forward motion, however small, is necessary.

The struggle is worth it!

– Cat

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