An Open Letter to Everyone About Joy and Love
Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It's the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.— Sharon Draper
As I compose this, the sun is just beginning to set after a refreshing rain to cool off a very warm day here in Hawthorne, Florida..
It has been another gorgeous day and reminds me why I am blessed to live here. Not to say that I do not enjoy the vast beauty that I find in many many of the other states that run from "sea to shining sea."
Enjoying the mild climate we have in our winters and having learned to adapt to the heat at other times has become how I live.
So that is one reason I am joyful today.
Another is that my daughter, her husband, and my grandsons live nearby. How loved they make me feel and how filled I am with joy each time I speak with them either on the phone, via social media, or in person.
The day I began composing this was a special day--- the first Bone Marrow Drive was being held in honor of Heston Wayne, my youngest grandson. But it was also for ALL who may one day need a bone marrow transplant. I joined my family and many of Heston's Heroes in Ocala (Florida) about 45 minutes from my home and helped my family and many volunteers. I set up a table with Hearts for Heston and cups of candy decorated as elves, santas, or snowpeople....a nominal donation was asked for those.
Much time passed before I sat down to finish this epistle.
My grandson, profoundly ill, but does not realize it...He has made a choice to find JOY and to share LOVE
And so let us begin the letter....
Dear Friends and Family,
Although most of you I have not met in real time, I call you friend as you walk this planet with me...the same earth is our home for a brief time.
We face struggles and challenges on a daily basis, some of us much more serious ones than others.
We hear much that we would be much better off NOT knowing no matter where we live.
Most of us in our country, not all, but most of us have a home, clothing, food, and feel safe on a daily basis.
As a nation of individuals who share the United States of America, we have reason to feel joy and love from for those we know and those we have not yet met.
Our brothers and sisters to our far north in Canada were pinned on our map as well. Many of you come to our country to visit and some to stay...and we are joyful because of that.
Time together with those we love
How can I speak of JOY and Love?
What is all this talk about love and joy? Certainly some who are reading this are thinking just that.
"I just lost my job, our family is about to be evicted, my baby has cancer, can barely put food on the table, my car broke down and I cannot afford to fix it."
" Are you kidding me? What do I have to be joyful about? How can you speak to me about love?"
I get it, dear friends and family. I have been you. My daughter and eldest grandson have been you. And we have been you at Christmas time, a time when having so many negatives in our lap was difficult.
But, dear friends and family, it is about choice.
No matter where you are in the U.S., Canada, or somewhere else on this magnificent planet, WE ARE FAMILY.
We learned to (TRY) to live this way
Been there, more times than I care to share
And dear friends and family ....having experienced homelessness, I do understand what it feels like.
I know ...
- What it feels like to slog along for 8 miles on a busy highway (when we had no car) to buy milk and bread.
- To drag a discarded ramshackle Adirondack chair from a heap of trash so there would be a chair to sit on outside.
I know what it is---
- To be forced to turn to a dear friend for money so that I could buy a car that would transport us to the nearby flea market each Sunday to sell whatever we could find to sell in order to collect enough coinage to buy the bread and milk needed for the week.
I know what it feels like ---
- To cook all of our meals on a wood fire in the cold and to live in a van in winter with daughter and (now) eldest grandson.
- To find humor in a dire situation even with others may not---whenever we trekked to the bath house we were chased by a very territorial rooster we dubbed Chanticleer who kept reminding us that we were encroaching on his domain.
So yes I know.
And I also know how it feels to be treated less than worthy because we were in such dire straights. God forgive me if I ever treated anyone the way we were treated.
Having endured, we came out on the other side, wiser, smarter, more compassionate and filled with a new resolve. The resolve to find joy in everything we possibly could and to express our love for each other and to others more freely and more frequently.
Hugging my eldest sister
It costs nothing
Feeling love and giving love does not cost...at least in a financial way (unless giving material gifts is part of our plan.) And, even as I say those words I realize what next is said may seem contradictory--- because yes, it does cost in some sense of the word because we are putting our hearts out there when we feel and give love and share our joy.
It seems, however, that by and large loving others by giving of our time and concern for others costs naught. Being available to:
- drive someone to church or to the store or to go to the store for them
- clean their house if they cannot
- rake yards and pick up yard debris
- walk a pup
- take a meal to an elderly or ill neighbor or family member
- make time to visit and sit and chat and LISTEN to someone who may be lonely
brings joy to someone who may otherwise feel forgotten at times.
The Blues Brothers make me smile at Mojo's Grill in Ocala FL
One of my favorite photos of my grandboys
Many of you know that I sign my hubs and my email and snail mail correspondence by saying----Angels are on the way to you.
The reason for that is that Angels have come to me and my family and continue to do so when we least expected it. Many of them are earth Angels....dear precious individuals who give us support and uplift us when our joy has waned for a time.
Celestial Angels come to us as well...even today. The messengers of God come and lift us up and over the most tumultuous times that we face...
Be aware....and watchful. Angels are there waiting to comfort and uplift...earth Angels and Celestial Angels.
Little Man ....filled with awe
Feel your joy and share your love
There are so many times during the day to feel joy:
- When our faces are kissed by a warm or crisp breeze....
- feeling warm rays of sun wash over our bodies....
- seeing the smile on the faces of little ones at play....
- observing an elderly couple sharing time together...
- walking out in nature enjoying the bounty that awaits our senses...
- connecting with our God through prayers....
- and a myriad of other ways allow joy to fill our souls.
Sharing our love with others gives them a sense of worth they may question from time to time.
And so to each of you.....although it may seem corny to some....find your joy and then share both your joy and your love with others.
Angels are on the way to you, dear friends and family.........joyfully, patricia scott
Brother and sister....both brought so much joy to one another
Do not miss today
It is easy to find joy and express love when all is well in our world. In each life stuff happens. Unwanted and unwelcome horrid events that can turn our lives upside down.
It is at these times that we learn to make choices. We learn to live in the good times and not to live in sadness and darkness.
My daughter, grandsons, and I have chosen as our mantra--
Do not miss one moment of any day trying to second guess the future and for the most part, we (try very hard) to live in the now.
My closest friends who knew me before my great awakening know that I thought I needed to control and fix everything. But I found that was and is not possible and as a result I am much happier.
When you are feeling sad and down and lonely and lost, find your greater Power And believe that today is your reality and no amount of maneuvering on your part can change that.
LIVING, truly living and embracing every minute of every day is energizing and fills you with the hope that difficult journeys require.
Have you found a way to find joy and share love even when your life was not at its best?
This song is played at least once a day as I drive along in my car...
Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.
— Henri Nouwen
His smile radiates...
What has been your experience ?
In the comment section please share how sharing yourself with others has been life-changing.
Or how the kindness of someone else changed you.
Have you not had any experience in this area? Be patient....you will.
The real reason I chose to publish these ramblings is this---
While everything I have stated within this article is how I really feel and believe, I admit honestly and freely that I do not achieve all that I have vowed to adhere to every single day.
Because I am human, there are days that I DO try to control things that are out of my control .....I DO try to second guess the future....and I DO crash and burn.
And sometimes I DO ask why? Why do little children have really awful maladies? I have found no one who can answer that satisfactorily for me. I try not to get stuck there...and I think questioning helps me to grow...
It is for these reasons that I wrote this letter just as much for myself and for others to read. I needed to remind myself of my family's mantra.
I needed to step back, reassess, and remember that no amount of worry or fretting or stewing will change any thing, ever. When I worry I realize that I am wasting precious moments ....moments that I cannot allow to slip away in such a wasteful manner.
Embracing with vigor all that is good and loving and joyful every single day is how to make the most of the infinitesimal amount of time we have on this planet.
It is a process.
It is a continuous journey.
I am so blessed as is my family to have precious Earth Angels who carry me along, who listen when I ramble on, who care enough to help lift me up and my precious family members up....this is so trite and I say it so very often....every single minute of every day is a gift....and for each minute I am truly thankful.
© 2017 Patricia Scott