Daily it seems I am able to find peace and joy in the smallest things. A warm cup of coffee, some light rain coming down across the skyline, a friendly text asking how I am doing, or even by bringing donuts into the office to make everyone else smile. Although, it is not always easy. This is part of my recent journey for 2019 on finding peace and joy.
Finding Peace and Joy
Peace and joy to me go hand and hand for my mindset, but there are times when they both elude me. Personally, I can not maintain or sustain one without the other. They are the Ying and Yang to my inner self.
For those foreign to my past and current life, I had plenty of challenges to over come in 2019. There were many darker times this year where I found myself feeling empty, emotionless, and without a proper direction to point myself.
This is not a normal feeling for me since I am a driven person naturally. There’s been very few times in my life where I feel out of place or without a purpose. 2019 was basically a full year of off and on feelings which was new to me.
One minute I could feel invincible and the other feel like turning into a shadow and dissolving into the depths of the unknown. At times I want to disappear, but I knew that would not suit me for long.
My goals are too lofty to be kept hidden, and I feel my passion is too great to be ignored. I had to find my peace and joy and regain my strut.
Peace in the Storm
To start, I had to find peace where I was, not where I wanted to be. Although the worst had come to past, there was still a date that needed to be crossed. A final tie of trust and bond that had to be broken. It had to be crossed.
This date for myself, was my former wedding day. October 12, 2019 seemed to be the day of ultimate ending to the tragedy and tv show that become my life earlier this year.
Thankfully, my family and friends never left my side throughout every moment of despair and discomfort. All the way up until that fateful day, my support group, my trusted advisers, my inner circle was beside me.
Flush the Poison
Fortunately, that day my mother begged me to take her to a concert happening at the FOX theater downtown Atlanta. That concert was none other than the King and Country special, Burn the Ships. The theme was ironically perfect for not only myself, but I am sure many others within the concert hall.
The theme was centered around a wife of one of the brothers who years ago had become addicted to pills while they were on tour with their band. Immediately, the brother knew he had to return home to help his wife face these demons.
After months of therapy, loving care, and support from those who loved her, the wife overcame the addiction and decided it was time, time to flush the pills. Symbolically, she flushed each pill to rid herself of the urges and cancer that destroyed her family and personal life. She flushed the poison.
Burn the Ships
The tour’s theme of “Burn the Ships” arose from the treatments the wife was taking. During the process, one of the brothers heard a story that was used to exhibit the need for people to let go and move forward from things.
In the story, a captain takes several ships of men on a quest to discover a new world. Excited and eager to start the journey, the men take off quickly saying goodbye to friends and family alike. The journey was a treacherous one which entailed several weeks at sea.
Eventually, the ships broke through low hanging clouds to a scenic view of the shore with mountainous hills and valleys looming in front of them as they surveyed the extent of the land from afar. The scene was something they had never witnessed, and the apprehension of the feat started to sink in.
Quickly upon landing and unloading, the crew started to whisper or fear and uncertainty on continuing the journey, knowing they might never again return to those they love. After days of this the captain knew something had to be done.
The next morning, the Captain gathered all of the men along the beach and gave the signal for the lieutenants to burn the ships, their only means of returning home at the time.
During the spectacle, the Captain addresses the crew, “The only way back to the ones you love, the ones you care about, and the ones you miss, is forward. Your future is ahead of you, not behind you. Have no fear, be steadfast in your resolve, and have faith. Your future is ahead of you.”
Finding Peace in a Theater
This night at the FOX and listening to the stories helped me put certain things into perspective. If not consciously, then definitely subconsciously. My soul was continually longing for that place of home, that affirmation of love, and the feelings it once felt.
The only way back was to go forward. My future was ahead of me.
Slowly, my anger turned to drive, my uncertainty turned to hope, and my feet moved with purpose. Throughout my entire life, I would have always characterized myself with the confident, driven nature of a leader, but sometimes there are periods where life puts you where you don’t belong. It is our job to tell life, hey that’s not my home and I will not stay. My future is ahead of me.
Although this is easy to write, the process is long, and time is not the sole healer of all wounds. People spend their entire life regretting things and asking, what if? Healing and progress are up to the person responsible for such things, myself.
No longer could I wait for God to fix my problems, he gave me legs to walk for a reason. Therefore, peace comes not from standing still and allowing the wind and tide to over come you, or waiting for the low tide so you can hopefully breathe again. Peace comes from stepping out of where you don’t belong. Peace comes from building a boat and overcoming those waves and using the blistering wind to chart your path.
You see, the trials are there to push us. Not to stop us. The wind and waves are your friend. Although they may seem mountainous and impassable, with the right attitude you will find they were never that big to begin with.
Our mind has a way of playing games with us. We are more capable of anything we can even imagine. All we have to do is walk.
While I spent most of this time talking about peace, Joy is the by product of your attitude and view on life. I have always been a joyful person, and no I do not mean only happy. Yes, I am by nature a happy person relative to others, but it is more than that.
I have faced some incredibly hard things in my life already, and I am only 25. Regardless of the failures, health debacles, lost lovers, and struggles, I always always keep my head up. Never have I ever turned on my beliefs, and never have I ever changed my mind set. I know my capabilities and my potential; therefore, I will not waver in the face or trials or turbulence.
My joy keeps me from giving up. My joy gives me the spark to keep warm in the coldest of nights when there is no logical hope or reasoning. Joy is a mindset. Joy is a view on life and an indestructible affirmation of my purpose and dedication to my goals.
Therefore, sometimes I love to make a joyful noise. Shout to God or simply yell in the car and cry sometimes because I know that God can hear. Yes, joyful noises can be driven from anger and sadness. God wants to hear the bad and the good. Why be fake with the one who made you, he already knows.
Peace, Joy and Ships
Through the trials, tear filled moments, and long deep breathes, I found my peace, and I found my joy. They were with me all along. Likewise, my friends and family were right there with me all along. My future is ahead of me.