Life has spun me around in the past month along a series of bumpy spirals riddled with savage spikes with intervals of smooth surfaces.
The past two weeks in particular have been rough. In the midst of these circumstance, none of which I have control, I have tried to maintain a level of mental equilibrium.
I swing like an obstinate pendulum from forced calm to panic for the future. It’s during this inexorable swing from calm to panic that I catch a glint of an alternative. It sparkles and speaks across the smooth metal surface of the uncontrollable.
In the face of uncontrollable circumstances, in this case literally life and death, there is only one sane option. Choose Joy. I can’t control the outcome of the current troubling circumstances in my life. I can only watch, pray and hope. The minutes, hours, and days click by in their allotted markings. I have no more control over the result of them than I do on the direction of the wind, or a gathering storm. But, I can choose my mind set.
I am begging to learn the power of that word, that concept, that intentional emotion – JOY. I choose joy. I will send my prayers up to heaven. I will hold the circumstance in my loving thoughts, and then I will let it go. I’ve done that before when difficult times have come, but I have never willfully chosen Joy. I am beginning to seek it out. I will find joy in my children’s laughter. I will find joy in the solitude of shopping at the grocery store with a playful song resounding overhead through the speakers. I will find the joy in the mundane and I will create it with my musical choices reverberating from my smart phone. I will chase after it like an oblivious puppy after its ball.
I’ve always known the simple truth that darkness always comes in all of our lives. Darkness, pain, suffering, death all welcome themselves unannounced, and brazen through our front doors regardless of status, money, or talents. It is Joy that must meet them when they come. That is the only control we have in the face of such insurmountable realities. Because even though tragedy comes to us all, it is the ability to chase after joy in our own backyard that ensures our survival. Otherwise the pendulum will swing and swing until we spiral into madness like Poe’s protagonist, and then we are lost to ourselves, and to the world.