Finding Joy by Maureen Eich VanWalleghan
I had an amazing day today. My husband, five-year old daughter and I went and cut our Christmas tree. It is annual tradition since we moved to Prescott three years ago. Often around the holidays my husband and I fight. Stress, anxiety, unresolved issues in our past have made it hard to connect to each other and the moment with joy.
Today, though it was different. We had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday, with us three, two good friends and my parents around the table. And then later in the evening we spoke to my husband’s 16 year old son, whom we love very much, but for a variety of reasons beyond our control, we have not been able to contact directly.
My beautiful daughter, who loves everyone and tells me regularly—was her loving and open self telling her big brother, whom she has never met, that she loves him. My husband was so happy that he was speechless, which I have never seen before. And I felt my heart relax, has I have wanted to connect to this child, whose presence is very much a part of my life even in his absence. It was, I have to say, one of the more joyful moments I have experienced with this family of mine.
And so today, that joy was with us still as we drove up the forested mountain beyond our home to find a Christmas tree. At one point I was trying to remember what we were fighting about last year at this time. One year later: I couldn’t remember the argument’s details only my anger. So true is this idea that little is worth fighting about when it is considered in the continuum of time. There is much to be thankful for this year as with every year and holding joy in one’s heart is the biggest part of remembering that gratitude.
For anyone who has wanted help in finding joy I recommend a workshop that can be done in person or online. I few years back I did the online version and hope to do it again in 2011. Check out: Awakening Joy http://www.awakeningjoy.info/. It doesn’t solve problems, but it did help me find what I was looking for and start me on the path of pursuing my dream of becoming a filmmaker.
Life can be a struggle with great ups and downs. I have experienced those downs in the context of my married and mothering life. I feel so thankful to have this moment—to internalize the joys happening in my life, which feels like I’m planting a garden. If I keep watering and tending to it, I think I can make it grow.
A blessed Thanksgiving to all…