An Open Letter
As we stand at the threshold of a new year, I want to take a moment to address you. You have always been a cherished and sought-after companion in my life, reminding me of my worth. You've brought warmth, laughter, and a sense of lightness to my days. Yet, there have been times when I've felt guilty or even ashamed of embracing you wholeheartedly as if you were an intruder disrupting the solemnity of life.
But, as we embark on this journey into the new year, I want to extend a heartfelt welcome to you without any reservations, shame, or guilt. It's time to recognize that you are not a distraction from life's challenges. You are more than just a fleeting feeling of indulgence. I've learned that even in my grief, you are integral to my healing and human experience. You are a gentle reminder—a source of strength and a wellspring of inspiration.
You remind me to be exactly where my feet are and stand in awe of you.
In the past, I thought embracing you in the face of adversity was a sign of insensitivity or indifference to the world's suffering—to my own suffering. But now I understand that this couldn't be further from the truth. Your presence in my life doesn't negate the pain and struggles that exist. Instead, you provide the much-needed presence and hope that makes the challenges bearable.
Joy, you teach me to celebrate the beauty of life, even when it seems hidden beneath layers of despair, uncertainty, and emotional exhaustion. Over the years, you've reminded me to pause, to feel, and to breathe. You invite me to see that laughter, love, and being loved is a powerful medicine and that taking pleasure in the small moments of happiness is not a betrayal. You've shown me over and over again that joy has my name on it. I've learned the importance of inviting you into my life and space without second-guessing if you're truly there for me.
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You teach me to face adversity with less aggression and more softness. You prepare me for what's to come.
You show me time and time again that I am not broken.
So, as we step into this new year together, I promise not to push you away or suppress you out of fear or guilt. Instead, I will welcome you with open arms and an open heart. I will allow you to shine brightly in my life, lift my spirits, and remind me of the goodness that surrounds me, even in the darkest times.
Joy, you are not an intruder but an essential part of my existence. Thank you for your unwavering presence, and may our journey together in the new year be filled with laughter, love, and an unapologetic celebration of life.
With gratitude and anticipation, may it be so.
Community: Write your own letter to joy. Start it in the comments if you’d like. I’d love to read them.
If you’d like to start your 2024 with some joy centered writing, join me on 12/14 at 12PM EST. The JOY WORK writing workshop is designed to help us connect with and cultivate joy. During our time together, we will embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment as we explore the realms of past, present, and future joy while nurturing your healing on the page.