Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Joy Trail

"For today, all you need is the grace to begin beginning." ~ Julia Cameron
It can be hard to be joyful. It can sometimes appear as if anger, vindictiveness, distrust and acrimony surround us with every headline, newscast and notification on social media. The world can amplify what we as parents of addicts and addicts in recovery have been experiencing for a long time.

It can be paralyzing.

There have been times like this we can recall, perhaps not in the world we are blessed to be part of but in our tiny little microcosms we call family where we were confronted with a "move or die" decision. We were many times given the choice to dive deeper into the vortex with The Addiction and our children or to look up, look ahead and through the muck, the shit and hedgerows addiction threw our way, to resume our journey to recovery.

"How did we ever pull this off?" we ask ourselves.

We decided to SEEK and SEE the possibilities. We didn't need to look far beyond our immediate surroundings to find dismay, misery or distractions away from the lives we were meant to lead as fully alive human beings. We wanted more than The Addiction could ever offer us if we drilled down into the abyss with our children. We wanted what was REAL. And we knew surrendering to The Addiction would reinforce our children's pessimistic and fatalistically defeatist attitudes toward life. We hoped by finding that next plateau or that next sunny meadow our children might see the glories that living life fully can bring, though remembering not to harbor any false illusions this would be an easy transformation to achieve for the addicts or even the ones in recovery.

We CHOSE to be alive. We chose to be happy, and eventually, we found the Joy trail.

It's like the muscle memory of a world-class athlete. We've done this before, we can do it again. It's the riding-the-bike or driving a stick shift thing - I haven't driven a stick in years but I believe I could remember the clutch-shift release choreography after a few stalls and grinds.

That might be just what is required. When we look to resume our pathways on the Joy Trail we might experience a few stalls, a few bumps in the road and reactions from onlookers as our attempts to become joyful human beings result in awkward fits and starts before our travels again become smooth and natural.

Being joyful does not equate with becoming the village idiot, the "don't worry be happy" buffoon with the constant smile on his or her face - though smiling does help, it clears away the brush, the fog that can obscure our next steps along our journeys.

Joy is a decision. Joy is a state of mind. Joy brings with it more joy and those unexplainable happy synchronicities delivered from The Universe to confirm we are on the right track.

Joy repels negativity. Remember how you got here. Remember where you're going. Be joyful, SEEK out the joy in life and watch the world's negativity bounce off your soul like sleet off a steel roof. Our kids are watching intently.

Who knows what might happen?
. . . keep coming back

"Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties." ~ Helen Keller