I heard this phrase recently and it stuck with me, “Where is the available joy?”
I’m currently having a rough few days and am asking myself this question rather often.
Physically I am feeling exhausted at the moment which just isn’t fun. And it’s impacting my social calendar which adds an additional layer of crankiness to my mood. I don’t like cancelling wine dates with friends.
But ok, FINE. If curiosity is a core value where is the damn available joy?
In many ways I’m pretty good at locating, noticing or witnessing joyful moments. This time of year is my favorite – driving with windows and sunroof open while music is turned way up is totally joyful. Conversation, connection, friendship, quality time are all so often inherently joyful to me.
I have a harder time shifting to noticing available joy when my mind wants to take me down the rabbit hole of fear, anxiety and doom, not to mention questions of worthiness.
But maybe that’s why this phrase stuck with me. Because it’s in the moments that are more shadowed that I really need to remind myself to stop and notice anything that sparks joy.
I swear, life would be exponentially easier if not for other people and their rage inducing ability to make their own decisions. Or maybe that’s just my occasional response to it while refusing to recognize the fact that I can also make my own damn decisions.
So even in those darker, less than “fun” moments does joy still exist? Maybe.
Maybe joy isn’t always blissful, though of course such moments are beyond fun. Maybe sometimes joy is noticing beauty in far simpler things. Maybe even small and fleeting moments of joy and appreciation are always available and on offer to us.
Perhaps joy can be found in presence rather than projection. What if there’s joy to be discovered even in darkness?
I certainly don’t have all of the answers, not even to my own questions. But it kind of feels comforting to at least consider the possibility that joy can and does exist regardless of what’s unfolding around or even to us. If only we’re paying a bit of attention and seek it out.
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