You’re allowed to feel your own damn joy.
It might feel foreign. Or selfish. Or scarce. Or indulgent. Or uncomfortable—at first. Maybe you’re unaccustomed to joy because you’ve been steeped in shadows. Maybe you’ve seen too much pain. Maybe joy reaches out for you and you stand firm with your fists tightly clenched because Joy is not a feeling you’ve been taught to know.
But goddamnit that joy is YOURS, however slight or overwhelming. Let yourself commune with it, dance with it, without fear. Without hesitation.
For many years I walked amongst shadows—mostly my own, but some that I cannot claim for myself. The fruit of that shadow work labor has been the lightest, brightest, most joyful I’ve ever felt in this lifetime. It has not been without it’s own challenges, and my joy has not eclipsed my rage—a rage that I have come to own as necessary if I am to make my magic in this world.
But it is MY joy, nonetheless. Mine to claim. Mine to embody. Mine to feel without guilt or shame.
Yet because I walked so long in tandem with my shadows, this joy felt like an invader. A fluke. I found myself afraid to embrace it for fear that it would cease, waiting for tragedy to strike and ravage my joy in it’s wake.
And because we live in a world drenched with pain, chaos, and injustice, joy can sometimes feel unfair. Who am I to feel joy when the world is burning? How dare I feel happy when there is so much suffering in the world.
I wasn’t sure how to allow Joy to coexist with Pain, how to reconcile the overwhelming gratitude I felt with the rage that I’m processing in any given moment.
Babygirl, you must know this: Nobody wins when you reject your joy. No one gets to have it in your place. Nothing is gained from choosing not to accept it. In reality, your joy is all of our joy—we are all the benefactors of your bliss.
When you refuse your joy you do the collective a disservice. There’s joy in little things. Joy in big things. Joy so overwhelming it breaks you open. Joy in the midst of pain, joy that is squeezed from trauma, and joy that is just pure joy with no parameters.
All of it belongs to you just as it belongs to me just as it belongs to the collective.
Will you receive it?