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Cultivating Joy

Jack Kornfield wrote; “There are ten thousand joys and sorrows in every life, and at one time or another we will be touched by all of them. We will all experience birth and death, success and loss, love and heartbreak, joy and despair.”

How well we are able to deal with life’s sorrows has a lot to do with what we’ve learned growing up and where we find ourselves in terms of gender, class and race and sexual orientation.  It is easy to blame ourselves when we struggle with life while everyone around us seems to have it all together.  It is easy to judge others for their fears or inability to move forward or when out of desperation they turn to unhealthy and addictive means to cope.  But it is not fair.  We have not taken into consideration the impacts of racism, a traumatic upbringing or experiences of abuse or bullying that can often lead to lifelong mental health struggles.

Learning to navigate through life’s sorrows is a skill that many were not taught but it’s never too late.  It takes tremendous courage to walk through our doors or to admit to another you are suffering. The first step is always the hardest and can take months if not years. But pain from traumas and tragedies buried deep are never forgotten. These sorrows can haunt your waking hours and invade your sleep. Mental health does not get better on its own.  But you are not alone, and hope that life can be joyful again awaits you at Family Counselling Centre.

Joy can be found on the other side of fear and avoidance. Joy is what emerges after the tears have been shed and the anger is harnessed as a catalyst for change. Joy is what surfaces once the self-blame and shame is released. Joy is what peeks through like rays of sunshine in the remembering and reconnecting with the child within. Joy is what takes flight as the mind, body and heart realize the danger has passed, and you are so much stronger than you thought. Joy is what remains as you shed the skin of someone consumed with sorrow and greet each day with deep gratitude. Joy is what floods through your body as you learn to love and accept yourself and others unconditionally, releasing the lies of discrimination and dehumanization. Joy is cultivated in the growing confidence to manage the once paralyzing anxiety. Joy is found in the imperfect moments of parenting as you learn to release unfair expectations and celebrate the little victories of life. Joy bursts forth in rekindled love and pursuing your passions.

While there are no guarantees in life, including with counselling, anything is possible when you believe and commit to the hard work to heal.  We currently have immediate openings in our “Women Helping Women” group for women who have experienced abuse in their relationship or are currently with an abusive partner.  Call or come to a weekly walk-in counselling session offered every Thursday 12-4pm at 18 Walnut St. to awaken your joy.




Nicole, August 2018

Published inAbuseAnxietyCounsellingSelf CareWalk-In Counselling

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