Happy comes in many forms and it is all relative to the user. My deepest joy since becoming a widow is without a doubt being free. Freedom is my ride. I decide who or what I get up for in the morning and when and why. You might say that as a single mother I am not free but the secret to that is that the kids ARE my freedom. Despite those “will you just shhhhhh” moments my kids are my favourite people to be around. They play and see the world for what it really is through all their teenage strops and toddler tantrums, (I admit there are not many), and they allow me the freedom to play as well,  all day if I want. We sit on beaches on Monday mornings and run around the woods. We explore historic country houses and gardens without the bank holiday crowds. We play loud music and I teach them guitar. On rainy days we tinker with computer games and learn how to use virtual reality simulations for good and not evil … I get to play out my childhood again sans school or bullies, parents or part-time jobs.

Relative to me and my circumstances – that is my idea of joy. Whatever it is you do that makes the clock whizz by is your joy. It does not have to be just one thing or limited in any way. I regularly skip between my intuitive studies, editorial and digital work to keep things fresh and to make sure my brain and my memory stay alert. Much resistance might come from inside yourself and/or others over the procurement of your serenity but once you are aware of what your joy is and that you should follow it then you will find it much easier to allow yourself happy time. We can’t spend every minute of every day running wild and loose in cornfields – we have responsibility and service to think about – but we can make it as much of a priority as paying the gas bill on time.

The Importance of Finding YAY!

For those in loss the seeking of joy is a lifesaving device and the more I discover about the loss of others and the further I go into my own journey I am beginning to wonder if in fact it is the only lifesaving device we have. You may say you have a support group (click here for advice on choosing the right support group and steering clear of certain other kinds), good friends and perhaps a supportive partner and family and those are all, combined, a brilliant network to have. BUT they are all external to you and cannot save your life. They cannot improve your will to live or your strength for living. That part is yours. The seeking of joy is your responsibility in life, it is your number one task.

If you are in loss, or mourning following a death or an ending of some description and need help to discover your joy again don’t be tempted to whip out the credit card – more on that here – instead focus on simple things for low or no cost. It is a fantastic starting point to find the simple acts of living and will increase your gratitude and wellbeing. I know how hard it is to have been a wife and a mother in a family and now to be a single parent. I know what it is like to have lived in some beautiful houses and then to be suddenly homeless in the safe house surrounded by security fences. When I talk about gratitude I know how long it took me to feel grateful for what I HAD rather than bitter about what I LOST and therefore I realise that some of you reading this will still be in that bitter stage and might want to throttle me when I say life is still great. In time you will see that it is – but it is a process that requires your active participation. It starts with willingness to survive and then not just to survive but to live at the same time. Are you willing?

Note : The person you can become following on from a deep loss is remarkable. If you don’t know it yet you will if you are willing to allow it to happen. For more on this read here. Also I spent an hour trying to get the right meme for this post who would have thought so many happiness related memes? 🙂

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