Joy?


A question is posed in a Zoom room: what’s bringing you joy right now? I rack my brain to come up with something—anything—and, when called upon, manage a barely coherent (and, frankly, insincere) reply. The truth is that nothing is bringing me joy right now.

I’ve said here before that I’m wrestling with depression. I’m ready to stop wrestling. To tap out. To just sit with the darkness and see what it has to say. Because surely there’s something I need to pay heed to.

Some time ago, I set an intention for what I write. “Find fresh ways to write timeless truth for the benefit of others”. I’ve tried to do that in this space, but I’m struggling with the “for the benefit of others” part.

I tap out words, play with cadence and structure, and maybe it’s more for me right now than anyone else. Maybe I should take my rambling elsewhere for a while because, really, I’ve got nothin’ for you.

But, you know, I still believe there’s something right in the raw and real that reaches us where we are and is more genuine than a happy clappy smile-pasted-in-place way of being. Personally, I’m prone to bypass the plastic in favour of the prickly. Maybe you too?

Maybe you’re a kindred who gets that sometimes swinging your legs out of bed and touching a tentative toe to the floor takes almost all the energy you can muster in a day. Maybe you feel the darkness as a physical manifestation and you know you need to probe it but, man, you’re afraid to disturb it too much for fear of what might come out. Maybe sometimes your eyes leak before the day gets going too.

Maybe nothing is bringing you joy right now either.

And maybe you need to know you’re not alone in that.

Maybe I need to know I’m not alone in that.

Maybe the “timeless truth” is that sometimes it’s hard to muster the energy to face one more heavy day. And maybe the “for the benefit of others” is keeping it real so we know we’re not the only one feeling that way. I don’t know.

Anyway, I’ll probably keep tapping away here, and elsewhere, and in time a measure of light will return.  If you’re looking for upbeat and positive you might want to step away for a while. Check back in later. There’s some soil tilling needed here now. It’s bound to get messy.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm here early most mornings with one of my photos and a few words about life and those thin places where faith intersects.
5 comments
  1. Raw and real.
    You will not feel this way forever, if your experience is anywhere similar to mine, Linda.

    Blessings as you till the soil where you may find hopeful seed.

  2. Dear Linda, I’ve been there. Half of this year. I hear where your heart is coming.

    In the midst, rest in gratitude, rest in hope.

  3. Linda, thanks you for your honesty. It’s been a tough year. Right now I do have joy, but it is bittersweet due to the pandemic. I miss my family. I miss hugging my friends. I miss serving as a deacon at church. I’m tired of the mask. I’m even more tired of people who refuse to wear a mask. Yet, I have a new relationship that is bringing joy. I understand depression & you help me feel less alone in the struggle.

  4. Real. Honest. Hurting. You saying it like it is. And I can relate. And we’re neither one alone in all this. We’ve “talked” about it before. I know you. You’ll till that soil and yes, it might get messy. But in the midst of the messy you’ll land on something rich, hopeful, joyful. Maybe we both will.

  5. Thank you for this. I have come to understand that there are specks of joy sprinkled throughout my days; a beautiful sunrise, time spent with my sweet grandson, a good play with our dog, but what sticks with me is that the joy does not last. It fades quickly as real life settles in, and I have to work hard at keeping that joy alive. Lately it has become harder and harder for me to keep that joy up front where I can access it. I let the feelings come and tell myself it is okay. Reading your words helps me to understand I am not alone.

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