Joy, pain, and everything in between

True joy is energizing. One may experience rush of joy to the unknown, whether it’s a new job, a vacation, or love. Recently, the most joy I have observed is on the face of my toddler. He is at the age where jumping in a pile of leaves, sticking his tongue out to catch rain water or snuggled up while listening to his favorite story leaves him filled with joy.

Joy itself appears to be more elusive as one gets older. I envy the young. For children, joy is found everywhere as they explore the world around them. For us, the simple beauty in the everyday gets overlooked as we hustle and bustle about with the myriad of roles we play as adults. Rarely do we stop to explore the fragile water droplets splayed across blades of grass. The random broken branches strewn across the park goes unnoticed and we hardly gaze in awe at the frost that coats our vehicles on a brisk, winter morning. Reader, one may argue joy for adults become harder to achieve.

Alongside the elusive joy there in the corner stands pain.

Hard. Cold. Strong.

Pain comes in waves, like the strong currents of the Atlantic Ocean. There are highs and lows and unfortunately for many of us it is constant; emotional pain and physical pain. Physical pain itself can be a good thing. When experiencing an injury, pain allows one to be more mindful to avoid more injury.

Emotional pain is a unique beast. I would go as far to argue that many people, young, old, men and women alike are experiencing a high level of emotional pain.

We are lost.

So many of us are in deep emotional pain that we find ourselves medicating with drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, gambling, pornography and even sleep. Our vices may dull the pain and even for some we think it’s gone. However, it doesn’t really go away. It’s still there; lurking in the shadows-shrinking in size, only to strengthen and grow.

What do we do with this pain?

We are living in a country where we are alerted to mass shootings almost daily. Human life is handled with less care than material possessions. We are a nation hurting and I can’t say I see a change coming anytime soon. The pendulum has swung and stayed in the same position for far too long. What are your thoughts dear reader? Blessings.

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