Finding JOY in My Demons

Inner Demons

I’m on a Journey to Joy (depression begone!), and I had an ‘aha’ today. It’s time for me to make friends with my demons. Not like jump ship on my joyful self, rather to include all of me in ME. I like being the happy, skippy, jumpy Sandye; the one who always finds the pony in the poop. I’ve been ‘Susie Sunshine’ for so long that it’s become my identity…  but, based on the way I’ve been feeling, there’s more to me than that. I see now that as I scoop the poop, looking for the pony, I’ve been inadvertently burying my demons.

I always say that step one is awareness. Well, I’m there. I admit it, I have a dark side and I can no longer pretend it’s not part of me. Sometimes I’m not nice – or thoughtful or even loving. Sometimes I’m scared (and scared of being scared). In the past I treated insecurity, fear – and even anger  – as an unwelcome invasion from an outside source. Now I get it. It’s part of me. And then the big question pops up: What if it’s a necessary part of me? Isn’t ignoring it being inauthentic (something I don’t want to be)?

Burying my demons (aka my fears, insecurities and dark side) only puts them out of sight, it doesn’t eliminate them. Eventually they always seem to dig their way out to terrorize me again. So I had this thought… What if I got to know them? What if I invited them out into the open? Would I find them less ‘fearsome”? Time to ‘google’ my mind and ask myself some positive, open-ended questions. What is possible if I actually embrace all of me? How can I use my demons to be the best me possible? How can I use my demons to increase my joy? Where do I start…?

As expected, reaching out for universal answers is literally deluging me with amazing (and somewhat unexpected) results! And, it’s happening at such a rapid rate that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed right now!

Sharing my Journey to Joy with you is a powerful step in accepting who I am… in finally owning my humanity – the good, the bad, the ugly and the magnificent. If it’s true that ‘fear of falling’ has us fall (and I do believe that it does), then it follows that knowing that I could fall, but not fearing it – just being prepared for it if it does happen – is likely to keep me upright. And, if I do fall, it’s just a fall. It doesn’t have to ‘mean’ anything about me. Hmmm, that’s comforting.

So I have this dark side.  I don’t have to live there (or live in fear of living there), I don’t even have to go there (except maybe to check-in occasionally and water the plants), and if I do, I can always leave when I want to…

And, besides, I have a VERY bright ‘lite side’… I think I’ll hang out there!



Got Joy


With thanks to Lucinda Williams for giving me the words to describe how I’ve been feeling lately… I’m not actually depressed. I’m not suffering from anxiety. I’m just not very happy. I’m not actually enjoying my amazing life (which so deserves to be fully celebrated!). Something’s ‘off’, life doesn’t feel ‘right’ and whatever that something is, it’s taking a nasty toll on me. I miss my JOY and I want it back!

My work is getting done, but instead of it being a huge turn-on and bringing me it’s usual gallons of enormous joy, it feels routine, just what I do – along with cooking and cleaning and driving and making beds and watering plants. Now, don’t misunderstand, I love what I do – it’s my passion! I can’t imagine doing anything more fulfilling. But it used to be fun, too. And, right now, it’s not fun. It just is.

Not surprisingly, my work turned ordinary about the time I got to feeling ‘meh’.  It’s as if I’m living in a construction zone – can’t turn the way I want to turn, traffic is backed up, someone keeps stopping me when I want to go… get the picture? I’m living in a temporarily NO FUN zone!

To the average observer, I am still Susie Sunshine, bubbling with energy. Outwardly I look happy. I smile. I’m nice. I have occasional bouts of ‘that’s nice’, but inside me I feel ‘off’. Not just as in ‘off my game’, but like someone actually flipped a switch and turned me OFF! I Laughing, being silly, giggling as I uncover the hidden humor in life – that’s what’s missing. I haven’t awakened with a smile in what seems like an eternity. Food is kinda tasteless. Life feels bland, too.

I know what’s wrong. I lost my joy! I forgot the steps to my happy dance! This is so not okay with me! I lost my JOY and I want it back!

My Grandma Ida (the one with the plentiful, encompassing hugs whose dimples were so big that her face caved in when she smiled) used to have two simple methods for finding anything that was lost. Step one was to turn over a glass. That was it; just turn over a glass on the counter. Step two wasn’t much more complicated. Lift up the toilet seat and, after a non-dizzying 360 turn, spit into the toilet two times. Her system never failed me. I am a terrific finder!

As I type this out, a light is coming on inside my head (I was planning on that when I sat down to write). I think I might know where I lost my joy. I think it’s with the sleep I haven’t been getting, the water I haven’t been drinking and the healthy food I haven’t been eating! I saw a glimpse of it when I put down the car windows and turned up the volume on my 60’s music. Had a sighting when I snuggled with my grandson. Spotted it when I shared my current state of joylessness with my Mastermind Group and they suggested that I get my butt into action!

Okay, I know what to do. First I’ll turn over a glass. I’m getting my joy back!