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When Joy Feels Wrong

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

When those we love are going through a difficult time, sometimes it seems inappropriate to be happy or enjoy ourselves. And right now, with so much pain and suffering going on in and around Ukraine added to what is already going on in the world, it may feel insensitive or even selfish to feel and share joy.

Empathy and compassion are important, and they can motivate us to help. However, if we enter into and remain in a state of sadness, heaviness or turmoil out of empathy or respect for another’s pain, then it helps no one and it will hamper our ability to offer support. Trust me...I've been there.

So what do we do? Mickey Eves, a wonderful coach and an inspiring soul I am blessed to be connected with, posted a beautiful reminder on social media yesterday about how important it is, especially now, to allow ourselves joy. When we feel and express more joy and share it with the world, when we notice the good and beautiful things, when we connect with what inspires and nourishes us, then that not only helps us, but also adds to our collective resilience. We can still be sensitive to the pain of others without joy becoming another casualty.

As Mickey said: “Choices, options, possibilities, and inspiration are much easier to access from a place of emotional lightness.”...“I can do more good and be of greater service if I allow myself to feel and appreciate what is joyful.”

So perhaps if we hear word of something that upsets us, then let’s also listen to something inspiring...something that keeps our spirits up so we can be authentically of service. If we decide to watch the news for updates on the war, let’s also flood ourselves with positive images, video and stories that give us hope. Through the day we can do our best to be in the present moment so we can better find joy in small things, in moments both ordinary and extraordinary. Like these buttercups:

"In Joy" (a study) © Laura Higgins 2022 4x6” Acrylic on Canvas Board

I was saving this piece for a spring release, but it feels like this joy is needed now. This 4x6 inch mini painting, “In Joy” is a buttercup’s eye view of the trees and sky, basking in the sun, soaking in the light. "In Joy" is available for $75 (not including shipping or mini easel, if needed) which will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross: Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal. If you are interested in adding this joyful piece to your life, please use my Contact Page or if you are one of my subscribers, you can reply to any of my emails. Complimentary local pick-up or delivery available in the Newmarket area. May the vibrant colors and subject of this piece give you a little joy today.

What has brought you joy this past week? I’d love to hear in the comments.

With so much gratitude to Mickey Eves for her inspiration and wisdom. All images and text other than those of Mickey Eves © Laura Higgins 2022

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