How can we have joy when all around is despair? Is it even fair of us to pursue joy? Should we feel positive when there is so much pain around?
I’ve had my fair share of knocks and tough times these last two years. In the summer I caught Covid and am now one of thousands upon thousands left with Long Covid symptoms, fatigued and struggling to maintain any semblance of the life that was before. So how, pray tell, can I possibly be joy-ful?
When I felt that black dog of depression starting to loom, I made a choice. I would intentionally seek joy to try and keep it at bay. I became impulsive. I rescued a cat, because she was named after my favourite video game character and her story was so sad. I had teal streaks put in my hair, because if I was no longer to be client facing for a while, then I’d do something I wouldn’t do while I was. I started painting messy, textured, abstract works for the process of it. It all helped.
Joy to me became an act of resistance. Two fingers up at the world which wanted to grind me down. At politicians engineering weary populations so they could slide evil legislation through without challenge. At eatablishments making sure they are seen to be doing something while having no intention of doing anything meaningful at all. Joy became my rebellion. My resistance. My revolution.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Perhaps instead of thinking of this in terms of happiness, we could think of this in terms of the ability to find good in the darkest of times, and to never ever give in to them?
Peace be with you