Face of Joy.
July 28, 2020

This is the face of joy.

It is also the face of grief.

Same face. Polar emotions.

It is possible for the two to exist simultaneously. It isn’t easy, but it is possible.

There are days of pain, anger, frustration, doubt, anxiety and despair.

There are also days of hope, laughter, peace, and love.

There are days when it feels as though my DNA has changed and the emotions intertwine themselves, taking turns releasing joy one moment and tears the next.

There are periods of days, even weeks where one will overpower the other, and I feel like a shell of who I once was, unable to reason with, or encourage myself.  But then, the other takes the helm and I feel as though I’m living for the first time.

Grief, like a thief, comes to steal, kill and destroy joy, wanting you to believe that it will never be possible for your heart, eyes, spirit and soul to be in agreement and reflect the light that burns in you.  That you will never lose the ache.  That you will never be complete.

You know deep down that isn’t the truth and wrestle night and day to place yourself in the upright position.  To find the inner strength to overpower the heartache.  To shake off the pain, put it in its place and move forward.  You want to live.  You want to TRULY live, and finding the way to do that without being in total denial about why you’ve been thrust into this reality is the fight of your life.  You doubt your sanity.  You doubt your loyalty to the one that has become your fondest memory.

Fighting that battle is the sign that you are healing.  Getting angry at your loss is ok.  Staying angry let’s grief win.  Feeling your loss is ok.  Allowing your loss to overcome you let’s grief win.  Allowing tears to fall is ok.  Doing nothing to stop them allows your grief to win.

Choosing joy in the midst of unbearable pain doesn’t happen instantly.  It comes gradually as the part of you that existed long before your loss fights to be remembered.  It’s that part of you, still joyful, that wants to spring forth.  As you hear the echoes of that part of you crying to be allowed out, listen.  Follow the nudging.  Do not allow your grief and the lies it whispers about your future, smother what is waiting for you.

Living - surviving beyond the loss- is more than eating, sleeping, and going through the motions in a numb daze.  Truly living - truly surviving beyond the loss- is being aware of what’s around you, who’s in front of you and the warmth and comfort of a good day.

I haven’t mastered the art of orchestrating days without grief, but I have surrendered that grief to the One that understands it and protects it, and orchestrates my days. In doing that, my grief takes a backseat. It’s always there.  Trying to tell me which way to go.  Being so loud and disruptive that I threaten to pull over and beat the life out of it.  I can see it in the rearview mirror, and I can hear it, but it’s in the backseat.

I suppose that will be the case as long as I’m on this road trip, but I’m in the driver's seat.  I decide which way I’ll go.  I’ll decide when I stop and what music I listen to.  It doesn’t get a say so. It’s just along for the ride because I’ve suffered enough.  I may not be able to kick it out or act like it isn’t there, but I’M driving dadgummit, and joy rides shotgun.  And, if I lose my way, I don’t need a backseat driver.  I know the Mapmaker, and He will put me back on course, thank you very much.

This is the face of joy. This is the face of grief. Do you see a difference?

#HopeMovement #imdriving

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