“What’s the line between acknowledging the turmoil in the world and depriving yourself of joy? There’s a sweet spot somewhere that balances seeing harsh truths about our world, facing that with equanimity, trying to change it, and also being a joyful person.
I’m trying to find that place because self-flagellation helps no one. I see folks who contribute to activist causes feeling guilty for having personal moments of happiness or comfort. But the point of fighting for equality and justice is to ensure everyone is allowed these moments, and frequently. Neglecting to give yourself those moments is a road that leads straight to emotional burnout.” – Grace Chin, artist
Never has a quote provided me with so many answers to questions I hadn’t known to ask.
I haven’t been feeling guilty about or deliberately depriving myself of joy because of the goings-on in the world. But I have to admit that, since last fall, moments of joy haven’t held my attention the way they have in the past. Our world’s anger, division, intolerance, poverty, cruelty, racism, hatred, injustice…it’s been a daily barrage of media sewage that’s frequently left me depleted with outrage exhaustion. I haven’t wanted to blog as much or indulge in creative outlets. It’s been a gradual process, so subtle that I hadn’t realized it was happening.
But recently I combed through my twitter and Instagram accounts, deleting almost all political news sources and talking heads.
And guess what? It’s starting to help. A lot.
I’m not sure I’ve landed squarely on the “sweet spot” referenced above, but until I saw that quote, I didn’t realize that balance was something I should be seeking, let alone find.
So the news still sucks. And it’s not likely to improve any time soon. But there is joy to be found. Sometimes it can be found in blooms on the side of the road. Or in the laughter and company of good friends. Or in the strength of strides during a really good run. I’ve found that when I focus on these little joys, I become the best form of myself. And isn’t it our best selves that can affect positive change?
Looking forward to a new week of savoring more moments of joy and grace.