Choose Joy

The last day of my year was beautiful. I spent some time with every member of my family that lives is the same country as me – ate some delicious food, saw a moving, beautiful movie. And as we brought in the new year, I had a few special hours drinking wine in a tiny bar with my love.

The perfect way to end an imperfect year, and to greet the next.

In the last few hours of the year, I heard news of a friend who lost her mother. She reached out to our community to ask for support as she sat with her, watching her die. A painful, privilege that so many of us fear.

As the messages of support for her came in, I cried, so moved by the beauty of friendship, love and loss. They weren’t the tears of grief or fear, they were tears of simple emotion in the face of beauty.

This was one of my greatest gifts this year. The many moments where I was moved to tears, these exact tears in the face of ultimate humanity and how painfully beautiful it can be.

In the first few hours of this squeaky-clean, brand new year I heard news from friends about a dreadful shooting event where many, many lives were claimed. I heard their shock and pain, immediately accessing the images of the event online.  And alongside these images was the list of all the similar events that had happened throughout the last year.

It would be easy to slip into fear, pain and the disillusionment that we have all felt throughout this tumultuous period.

Easy to surrender to the belief that all is not well. That we are headed to more difficult and challenging times. That our safety and well-being is forever damaged and threatened.

It would not be difficult to imagine the doom and gloom, the apocalypse that so many expect in the coming years. To focus on all that is wrong in the world.

And yet, this is as it has always been.

This amazing mix of everything, that is the human state. it is the way in which we experience our world.

And it is a choice.

To see the beauty or the ugliness.

To experience fear or hope.

To be in love or in hate.

And we are connected to all of that, whether we like it or not.

I choose joy.

And you?

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2 comments on “Choose Joy

  1. Wonderful post, Lisa. Thanks for sharing.

    I too choose joy. It was a resolution I made last New Year’s in the wake of a period of great personal loss and grief. For a while, I lost sight of my intention but it came back following a review of my year. Just as I was beginning to believe a lot of the hype that 2016 had been a dismal year, a look back through my calendar revealed I had much to be joyful about. Yes, there were losses and deaths but joy too. I had the privilege to get to my good friend in Germany and sit with him just before he died. And in recent months, I’ve experienced reconciliation with my sons. Our relationship was shaken severely following the breakdown in my marriage to their mother. Ten years have gone by and a few months ago, my youngest son, who lives in Berlin, invited me to visit him for the first time. We spent several wonderful days together taking in the city he loves and just hanging together. And this Christmas, my oldest son invited me to come to Canada to spend it with him, his wife, and my newest grandson. This was the first Christmas I’ve spent with any of my sons in ten years. I thought the day would never come, but choosing joy over despair won the day.

    So, today–early in 2017–I will continue to choose joy. I know bad things happen and I will be angry, sad, and hurt at times–but each time I will look up and choose light over darkness, joy over despair. And knowing others struggle too and are faced with the same challenges reminds me that we are all in this together. We are not alone.

    Happy New Year to you and your family, Lisa. Thanks for all you do and for your inspiring and supportive words.

    • Thanks Michael, lovely to hear your story – warm wishes and lots of love for 2017…L

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