This time of year seems to be the season of light, both in terms of decor and lightness of heart. Yet as soon as I turn the corner on Thanksgiving there seemed to be melancholy waiting for me. A reminder of what life seemingly lacks and that another year gone by without it.
This time seems to churn up old hurts and scars or reminders of those that are not here to celebrate this season with us. Perhaps we are weary of all the uphill battles fought this year and the many more we see looming on the horizon. Joy can feel elusive, like a candle flickering and threatening to blow out.
Whatever the reason for the holidays blues, I desire to look for joy.
Consumerism would have us believe that this season’s happiness is found in the latest car model, diamonds, or fill in the blank, must have item which happens to be on sale for a limited time only.
But I am not buying it. Joy cannot be bought. Joy is invited in.
We can invite in what brings us joy whether it is creating, whether it is loving people, whether it is championing a cause we care about, or watching a sunrise on a chilly morning.
We must hold onto joy with all of our might and not let it be stolen away. Negative thoughts, unexpected circumstances, doubt, fear, anxiety or tragedy may come our way and try to convince us to trade in our joy; like last year’s model. Yet, we must not give in to this committee of voices.
Joy is our strength, not a strength that pretends everything is fine; when its not. It is a strength that knows even when it all falls apart, if we can remember what brings us joy we can find strength to face the day.
In my room I keep a jar of joy. In this glass jar are slips of paper on which I have written what brings me joy. These slips contain memories like reading my nephew a story, and hearing his laughter. As I read these slips of paper, joy comes in, slowly filling my soul with light. And on particularly rough days I like to pull out the slips of paper and remind myself that my life is full of joy and beauty if I stop and behold it. So to every heart that feels heavy this season, you are not alone, let’s fight for joy together. Let your joy be your strength.
By: Elisabet Medina