Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Emotional Health, living with chronic illness, overcoming adversity

Mining for Joy

Joy to the World, a famous Christmas carol that presents with vim and vigor. Joy is one of those things we talk a lot about, but it’s really something we feel. It’s a exuberance and elation that seeps from your pores. It surrounds you and it lifts you above the pain and challenges life throws your way.

The challenges we face on the physical, emotional, and spiritual planes rob us of many pleasurable experiences. It leaves us feeling depleted and if you didn’t leave a breadcrumb trail, finding where joy lives can be difficult.

Joseph Campbell said, “Find a place inside where there is joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” That’s a powerful statement. Campbell speaks about the healing powers of joy. He punctuates the need for joy, not as something that is playful, but something that is healing, almost curative for woes.

All to often we think of joy as superfluous. We’ve been brainwashed to believe that joy is luxury. If you ascribe to Campbell’s quote, then you believe that joy is a nonnegotiable component of living a good life. The challenges we face are draining and joy is rejuvenating. It short-circuits the negative impact of the pain we experience when we’re striving to find a place of peace and comfort.

Don’t think of joy as something cute. It’s a powerful healing emotion.

Facing a painful experience?  Looking for education, support, and inspiration?  Visit

Hoping to experience joy through art?  Visit


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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