True confessions: For the past four months, I struggled with my daily practice of joy. It felt flat. It felt rote. It felt empty. It felt fruitless.
I showed up. I did it. I walked Allie. I photographed beauty. I prayed. I remembered to be grateful. I connected with friends. But everything felt flat. Friends suggested I might be depressed. I prayed about that, too.
That's when the Universe decided to shake things up a bit. It was like Love came and took me by the shoulders and brought all the gunk blocking my joy up to the surface so that I could see just how unconsciously I had let darkness block the Light.
It wasn't fun. . .and yet it was. Even in the depths of darkness and discomfort, I knew what was happening and I felt grateful.
I also felt fearful, doubtful, and alone. Except that I didn't. Because I felt connected and hopeful and loved in a way I hadn't in a long time.
And as the Light began to wash away the darkness, I began to hear myself saying at random moments, "I am SO happy. I feel so full of joy. I am so grateful. WOW!"
Today is April 1. The start of a new month.
Here in Atlanta, spring is awakening, and the flowering trees and the tulips and daffodils bring a smile to my heart every time I see them. I feel grateful beyond measure.
But still nattering away in my ear is that old habit of fear and darkness and doubt, trying to get my attention: "I'm real. I'm big. I have power. Pay attention to me!"
Today is April Fools Day. What a perfect day to remember that fear and darkness and doubt will always try to fool us. But when the Light wipes away the darkness, when the Love washes away the fears, when the beauty reminds us that ugliness is a lie, we will remember that prayer is vigilance.
Prayer is the reminder to keep rolling away the stones that block the Light, the Love, the Joy that none can take away. Ever.
So I turn away and look up at the blue sky and the flowering trees and I affirm what I have always known: Love is All there is.
The Joy that none can take away is ours. . .we walk with Love today.