2020 was horrible in a lot of ways. 2021 has been horrible in a lot of ways. My grandmother died on New Years Day, and two days before that, my nephew tested positive for Covid, then two days after new years (and my grandmother’s death), my brother tested positive for Covid and spent two weeks really sick and another couple of weeks recovering from pneumonia. That’s just the things that have happened in my life. Not to mention all the political nonsense that has happened in 2021. So, I’m glad there were plenty of people telling us that nothing was going to magically be improved overnight because of the year change.
I hope that you listened and didn’t put your faith in your calendar.
I hope that you still kept putting one foot in front of the other.
I hope that you continued to do things that brought you joy.
And that’s what I want to talk about today.
I’m not looking up the official definition of joy, because I have my own definition. I think joy is internal happiness and peace and wellbeing that can’t be taken away by outside circumstances. I also think my definition is full of fluff and not always accurate.
When my grandmother passed away, it wasn’t a shock. She was 96 years old. She had a stroke or something debilitating a couple of months before she passed away, and she had been unresponsive since then. The hospice nurses had told us that it would be happening soon. So, it wasn’t a surprise, and it didn’t take away my joy. I was sad for the people she left behind, but I’ve been sad for us for a while because the grandmother that we knew left us a long time ago.
When my brother was really sick and we didn’t know if they would be admitting him to the hospital or not for the second day in a row. I was more than sad. I was jittery and anxious, I was unable to control my mind. I couldn’t get myself to focus on anything and it just felt like something wasn’t right in my life. Something wasn’t the way it should be and I felt no peace within myself. I’m not sure if that means that I didn’t have joy, or that I wasn’t really stopping and looking inside to find my joy. And that’s just what I finally did. I stopped trying to distract myself with books and YouTube and everything else, and I just sat and did nothing. I’m sure I was talking to God, but I wasn’t formally praying. I was just being with myself to stop and see what was happening inside my body.
The anxiety and everything that comes along with that was taking over and I wasn’t doing anything to stop it. I believe that my joy and inner peace was there all along, but I was letting everything else get in the way and cover it up. I felt so much better afterwards that I was just convinced that my brother had to be doing better. He wasn’t. And that’s when I realized that all the anxiety and all the worrying wasn’t actually doing anything for him. It was just making me sick and making me feel bad.
Sit and remind yourself of the truths around you.
What can you see, smell, hear, taste, and touch.
Bring yourself back to now because now is the best time to be in.