The Joy Experiment

Always the Fight Ministries: Displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse. (c)2019 Nancy Virden

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You’ve heard the cliches: If life gives you lemons, make lemonade; every cloud has a silver lining; time heals all wounds; if one door closes another will open; and many more so-called encouragements. 

If you struggle with grief or a heavier depression, you know these are meaningless when you are suffering. They should be meaningless! Your life, my life – we are complex and deserving of better answers than these. Not every situation has the sugar necessary to make lemonade. Some circumstances are only sour. 

That does not mean life itself is hopeless!  

In the middle of pain, it may seem that nothing will ever change. That is where we are caught in hopeless feelings. We confuse a circumstance, a loss, or a relationship with the whole of life.

My experiments

These past few months I have worked in preparation for a big experiment that took place yesterday. It’s no fun to admit less-than-great results, nevertheless, my artistic work did not sell at a huge craft fair. There were hundreds of crafters with creative ideas. Hundreds of potential customers walked past my table, many making comments like “Oh those are so pretty.” 

It is the first time I’ve tried to sell my artwork. In March of 2011, two months after complete despair almost ended my life, I signed up for an art class. This too was an experiment as I tested people’s claims that life could have joy again. As for art becoming a source of income, well, I need to try a different route than craft fairs. Next, I’ll experiment with Etsy and other online outlets.

Your experiment

Life as a whole is full of experiments. What do you have to have to know joy? You may not be able to make lemonade out of your sour circumstance, yet you can create new circumstances. You may never be able to replace what you lost, however, new joys can become part of your daily experience.

New joys do not diminish the importance of your past and current joys, losses, or pain. They are simply the results of fresh experiments.

What will you try next?

Today’s Helpful Word

Psalm 34:8 
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!




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