Trying to Steal My Joy
When I was a kid and heard my mother talking about someone trying to steal her joy, I really wondered how someone could take what you could not see.
Now that I’m “old enough to know better,” I actually do.
We have all experienced those moments of complete joy. For me, joyful moments can be as simple as having all of my laundry clean or finding my last hair band when I thought I had lost it. Sometimes though, the joy-filled moments are almost miraculous like the time I had to catch a connecting flight but the originating one had been delayed. I was landing in Atlanta which usually means a 30 minute trek to another terminal; so when I got off of the delayed plane and found out that my connecting flight was just next door, I felt the joy.
Sometimes that joy happens when I plan to do nothing and I am able to do just that. Sometimes, I see a child laughing or hear my own child singing, or another playing his guitar.
Joyful moments enable us to see that all things are connected and it really is all good. Joyful moments are harmonious.
Whenever my mother spoke of the stealing of her joy, she was referring to someone who came crashing into the sound of peace. This person was being loud, obnoxious, but most often negative.
My mother often shared a story about how one day when she was walking home from work she had asked God, which she called Love, how she would feed her children. She had run out of money and pay day was several days off. She recalled that as she asked the question, she looked down and found $20.
Twenty may not seem like much but it was the 60’s and my mother could make a dollar holler.
As we ate dinner that night, my mother was exuberant. She said that this was surely a sign that our lives would be good if not great.
My brother mumbled something that he had picked up from a street corner philosopher; “The man is never going to let us get ahead.” My mother was as she would say “fit to be tied.”
“Don’t go trying to steal my joy.” She yelled. “Life is hard, but it’s also what you make it,” she declared.
“If you can’t enjoy the good, how in the world will you make it through the bad.”
I have come to understand her words and the emotion behind them.
I have seen the joy stealers and have felt the sadness and disappointment they carry; but even worse, there have been times when I have doused the flames of my own joy.
Here is one single tip for dealing with those who would steal your joy:
Be uplifted, and expectant of nothing but infinite good.
Be you, be well, be the joy
Bertice Berry, PhD.