So much has changed. The life I imagined for Alex and I just isn’t there anymore.

I’m having to let go of so many things that have made me happy.

In the last year I have had more joy than in the years before.

I miss that joy. That laughter. That hope of a happy future.

My heart . . . my spirit . . . hurts so much from phone calls that don’t come and laughter that is silent.

I’m looking for something to change to make me happy.

I look to familiar things – external things – other people.

But here’s the thing.

And it is hard.

So many things that “made me happy” are gone.

When everything is stripped away, all that is left is me.

My joy is up to me.


I can look for it under every rock and behind each cloud, but the reality is, the joy is inside me. In this hurting heart.

I have never tried to understand this before.

I have heard the lady on the commercial say “each day when I get up, I have two choices – to be happy, or unhappy – I choose to be happy”.

For me, the choice isn’t easy.

Because I don’t know HOW to find my happy, to find my joy. The real joy that lives on, regardless of whatever is going on around me.

So this is my work. To find things that will forever nurture the joy that lives under the rock in my heart.

I think these can only be simple things. Things that money can’t buy, because money isn’t always available. Things that don’t come from relationships, because people aren’t always there.

These simple things MUST be those I can carry with me always.

It has to start with me and this heart of mine.

I am choosing to focus on my breath. On the joy of breathing freely. With control. My breath will be with me until my spirit leaves this body with the last exhalation.

Why not find joy in breathing? It can be calming. Soothing. It can come in bursts after passion or laughter. It can feed my body during exercise. It is my constant companion.

I am choosing to find joy in my body. Where my breath lives. I am going to start working on yoga again. Finding joy in the ability to stretch and perfect moves created long before I was a thought in the universe.

I am choosing to want what I already have and be joyful about it.

I am choosing to find joy in touch. In touching this body of mine. Oh yes. Like that. And other ways. Touching this body with love that comes from my own heart. In sheets that hold me while I rest. Clothes that keep me comfortable with myself and with my interactions with my world. (Yes, these are external things, but such gifts I can give myself.)

I am choosing to find joy in being truthful with myself. Permission to feel pain so that the pain can be dealt with and make way for more joy.

I am choosing to find joy in taking care of myself.

I am choosing to find joy in taking care of my home.

I am choosing to find joy in my son.

I am choosing to be grateful for my friends and be joyful for the relationships I am working on.

I am choosing me. I am choosing joy.