Finding Your Joy

Finding My Joy

Finding My Joy!

Finding my joy!
Joy is a flower that blooms when you do.

– Unknown

I have a confession to make.

I lose things all the time. You may know my type. I am the lady that walks out of a room not doing the one thing she came in to do. The one who forgets to close the refrigerator door after taking out the milk pan. The one who needs at least three sets of keys hidden all around the property so that she doesn’t lock herself out. By now I myself have lost track of what all I have lost, when and where.

I might like to blame it all on the loss of a parent at a young age. Being more of a mother than an elder sister to two bustling teenagers. Or pretend that it’s the stress of handling two hyperactive children of my own, who need constant monitoring, away from home with no family or social network to support.

All good reasons, don’t you think!

But the truth is, I was like this long before I lost my Mom, or started a family or left everything behind to be with my Husband.

If you run into me on the street, you would never guess I am so scatter-brained. I can do a pretty good imitation of competence. But chances are that I am standing there doing a virtual head scratch, while I try to figure out what exactly I was there for?

See what I mean?

Even my train of thought gets lost most of the time.

People like me need a strategy to cope with such forgetfulness, and I have developed an excellent one, even if I say so myself. It’s a very simple one. I never panic when something goes missing, I never look for it. My theory, however unscientific it may sound, is that it will turn up the minute I stop searching for it. Jewelry, Library books, wallets, checkbooks, car keys, cell phones, birth certificates, plane tickets you name it, I have lost it. I have also found every single item, well most of it. Because eventually, the stuff resurfaced. Granted sometimes it took as long as two years, but still, I found the things I lost.

My theory worked like a charm.

Until the day it didn’t. That was the day I lost something that I couldn’t find again.

I lost my Joy.

As usual, I waited a while for it to return. But as the days passed I began to panic. I wondered how long it would be before I felt happy again. In place of light, there was darkness. Anxiety rooted in my heart where contentment used to be.

As the days turned into weeks and then long months. I struggled to ignore the depression that was bearing down and suffocating me. I knew it was one of those things women may experience after childbirth, more so, because it had been an especially difficult one, both for me and my little girl. Marriage in the family, cheer and sunshine, even a trip to my doctor was not helping my heavy heart. I am a person who looks forward to each new day with hope and cheer, this change was a hard pill to swallow.

I tried to grit my teeth and power through until the fog lifted and the burden eased. After all, everyone has bad days now and then, right? In the meantime, I spent a lot of time sitting on the bathroom floor, leaning against the bucket and crying while the bathwater running.

I couldn’t go on like this, for my own sake, and for the sake of my children, I had to do something. So I did the one thing I had never done before, I went out in search of what I had lost.

I started by closing my eyes and praying for joy. Only then was I able to see where it was hiding. First I found it in the book of my faith, hidden within those holy words. Then I found it in the easy chair with my baby in my lap, and even more when I felt the arms of my toddler around my neck.

The fog began to lift. When I learned how to say no and take it easy, the clouds cleared and the sun came out.

I didn’t have to be the best at all the things, all the time.

I realized my elder one didn’t have to be all organized and neat and tidy all the time. It was okay for him to stay messy without a bath once in a while. My husband’s cup of tea didn’t need to be warmed constantly, he could drink it cold once in a while. The house didn’t have to be perfectly clean all the time. I could let go of smaller things to gain much greater happiness.

Little by little, it came back.
And a truly grateful heart.

I am still on my way and not there yet. But probably finding joy is more about the journey than the destination itself. Of course, I still lose things all the time. Just the other day I lost my checkbook when it was the last day to pay my children’s school fee.

I still use my old theory and say with a shrug “mil jayega.”

But I use my new theory, too. I search with my eyes shut and hands folded in prayer. Because if it is something that I need, God will bring it back to me.

We all walk on our own paths to happiness. Stories for me have always been an essential part of this journey both personally and professionally as a trainer (once upon a time). Stories from my own life experiences, stories that I have heard or read and even a few that I simply make up to make a point have been the cornerstones at making me, better equipped in finding the path and the destination, that’s right for me. They have led me to positive thinking, thankfulness and some good old fashioned common sense. While penning them down, I am hoping that those who read them are also able to find their own paths to happiness, passion, and purpose in life.

Happy Reading!

Nousheen Hafeez
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