Monday, 12 October 2020

MIND // JOY In The Small Things

Can we just think about the unbelievable joy a good morning brings?

Life is hard for so many right now. It can sometimes feel awful expressing joy in such a period, but I wanted to write today about how our joys and sufferings cannot be measured against each other and how we all need to recognise joy in our own lives. 

One thing I have really learned over the past few months is that to truly respect other people is to actually accept that their life has no comparison to your own. Comparison puts a negative perspective on everything. You either begin to pity people, which gives you an unbalanced perspective on how much better you are or you become jealous of what someone else has, which equally makes you feel like you are without. 'Comparison is the thief of joy', is a Pinterest quote I see floating about which I do, so much, agree with but obviously it can be interpreted in many ways.

Respect is truly at the heart of this though and with everyone living different experiences, understanding and accepting their joy or sorrow is part of your journey to being able to express your joy.

The thing is, joy is found in the smallest aspects of life. Joy isn’t a whole situation or an entire day. It isn’t a big expensive holiday or an instagram worthy house; those things may bring some joy but on a larger scale, there are different levels of happiness within them. True joy is found in a much smaller space, in moments of times and, more often than not, within personal experiences. 

What I am learning about Joy is that it has no price tag, true joy will never be bought. It is actually within us all, it is within what we offer to the world. 

In the early summer months I was finding the whole idea of a new life hard. I tried to make the most out of every day by filling it with experiences that were stuck withing 4 walls. We were all working on different lives, we all had so much to deal with. There was no comparison for me. I was getting through each day and just ticking it off as good or bad. It was actually within this that I began to recognise each individual day though. The idea of working to a weekend had gone, the idea of needing school holidays to get away from routine had gone. Routine was for ever changed. 

Each day came and passed and I had a duty to fill it with something. That something became any type of school work activity to entertain the children and stop them asking me “what are we going to do today”. It was protective, for me and for them but every day involved planning, thinking, organising, always something to just keep us going. Whilst in it I couldn’t see all the positives, I enjoyed it but it was also hard. Now past it, I can’t quite believe we had the wonderful Gift that is time to just be together. The thing is, it wasn’t in the moments of activity that were the happiest, it was in the moments  within them where I saw pennies drop, inventions made or ideas come to life. It was in the children and what they put out in their own forms of pure joy that I was completely privy to because I was present. 

I was lucky, I didn’t work. I gave up everything to be there for the kids. I now have no money, no promised income for the future, no idea what I am going to do from now, but I have pure joy; joy from the moments we had. Joy from the moments that get given back to me and joy from knowing that it is only in recognising the small things that I can truly understand what joy actually is.

*This post was inspired by a walk the children and I took while off school due to illness. They'd had a positive test in their school and had locked down. As nerve wracking as it has been due to Raph becoming ill with all the symptoms, having to have a COVID test, which came back negative and then recover from an awful cough, I kept both children off school for 2 weeks. School were great and we followed their plans this time as opposed to making my own like before but due to only having two children we got work done quite quickly. This meant, in the second week when I felt Raph was healing we started going out for a daily walk. It was one walk in particular that offered the most amazing amount of JOY. I think Raph actually had got better in mood and symptoms were clearer so he was happier. Anyway, we met about 5 people on the path throughout the walk, and through welcomed distanced gestures of moving aside we got “Good Morning” responses and it just made me so happy. Like real little moments of joy for everyone involved. It is those that are the things we should be recognising in our day. Those tiny moments which can determine whether you go to bed feeling content or go to bed comparing your life to others. It is your life, not others, you find your joy. You.

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