Finding joy doesn’t come after the storm is over, it comes along the way. It has taken me years to understand this and I am still growing and learning. My life has been at a stand still up until this point and when I made the decision to choose happiness, my life began to swirl all around me. It was chaotic at first; then the flashbacks came, more anger bubbling up and negative thoughts kept me unbalanced. I remember thinking, this is NOT what I intended when I decided to live my life differently. This is NOT what I thought choosing to live joyfully was all about.

When my son died, my heart broke but he took it with him to Heaven. He has held onto it, fostered it, loved it and has been sending it back to me. He works his beautiful magic of reintroducing me to what Love really is. Day by day he shows me what choosing joy really entails.

It entails surrendering to Love and allowing it to lead in my life. At the same time all of the past traumas and memories don’t go away, but are embraced in the Love that comes from God.

In Love’s continuous embrace, my heart bursts with happiness.

It is an ongoing journey of consciously choosing to allow that place inside of you where joy resides to stand strong within the battle of negativity that continues to challenge me as I walk along the path to healing.

In my book, I describe my life events in-depth showing my readers how I struggled and learned to heal. My prayer is that it is a book that brings hope by showing how perseverance has led me home to Spirit. I learned that despite my traumas which separated me from Divine Love, Love is always there anyway, waiting on me to say ‘yes’.

Perseverance is a word that came to me through meditation this morning. I thought about the other day when anger reared its ugly head once again and seemed to consume my mind that was triggered by a memory that flashed across my mind. Shortly after the night I was raped, someone close to me, someone I love dearly, shared the words that all survivors fear: “It was your fault.” I blocked that moment from my mind for so many years and whenever it would creep back into my mind, I would shut it down…until now.

I knew it was a memory that I needed to face, to allow it to work my consciousness and to purge out of the very cells of my body. The anger I held onto oozed through my skin through through eczema, in my dreams as nightmares and in my emotions as anxiety, but I never let it get to the surface and let it go. After the anger pushed its way through, I laid in bed and cried on my husband’s shoulder while he held me, stroking my hair. I heard his comforting voice, “Let the tears come darling, you are getting so far. I am so proud of you.”

As I laid there, in the protection of his arms, I thought about my purpose and why I do what I do now. Why I write, coach and speak. It is to help others make that first step to choose to live with joy again and to choose joy again and again and again. To choose its blessings and rewards, even though some days are so hard. I want to help people connect to their Higher Power, to the powerful Love of God that brings us to a new place in life. I want to help others troubled by abuse, neglect, loss and trauma understand how the cycles of past memories don’t disappear, but can be transformed each and every time they emerge.

This is the renewal of life. Everyday is a choice. I chose joy.

I am a Joy Coach and writer because it is who I am. It is how I choose to live and it is the gift my precious son gave me. He gave me the opportunity to choose life again.

Rest easy my sweet boy in the peaceful Kingdom of Heaven.

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