Joy, Where Are You?

Joy, where are you?  You were right here a minute ago.  I turned to talk to the Complaint Family and when I looked back, you were gone.  I know your hiding places.  We’ve played this game before.  I’ll find you eventually.

Ah, there you are.  Why are you hiding?  You look scared.  Yes, the Complaint Family is loud, I agree.  They brought so many relatives to visit this time – Stress and Depression and Frustration.  Oh and Jealousy – haven’t seen her in a while.

They always seem to visit when I’m tired.  How can I turn them away when they show up at my doorstep?  No, I don’t love when they visit either, but they’re old friends.     Well, that’s true, you’ve known me for longer.  Yes, Joy, you were my first and only friend for a long time.  But I had to grow up and meet others.

Now, don’t do that.  No fair bringing up the teenage years when I abandoned you, Joy.  I didn’t know better.  I excluded you and I’m sorry for that.  I know you were hurt when I chose Depression as my new best friend.  It hurt me, too, to be without you.  I’m so glad you didn’t give up on me.

I’m still not perfect you know.  I get caught up with Stress sometimes, and Responsibility – they’re hard to handle.  Yes, you could help me deal with them.  Your presence would quiet them.  I should try to remember that.

Look, I promise I will pay more attention to you.  Now, will you come out from that hiding spot?  Come and give me a hug.  I love you, Joy.  I need you. What’s that?  On one condition?  You want me to invite Gratitude to live with us?  Sure, why not?  I like Gratitude.  She’s a good friend to you.  I notice that when Gratitude stays with us you seem strong.  And when she’s here, the Complaint Family doesn’t come around.  I think that’s a splendid idea, Joy.  We’ll invite Gratitude to live with us.

. . . . .

And so it was.  Gratitude moved in.  Joy grew stronger.  And we all lived happily ever after.  Sure, we’ve had visitors occasionally.  But the Complaint Family stopped coming around as much.  And when they did, they weren’t invited to stay.


For more on my journey with gratitude go to

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. momanolian
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 01:12:49

    I love the personifications – and I can totally relate. Thank you for reminding me that I can send the Complaint Family away and seek out Joy and Gratitude.


  2. Jeanette Ball
    Jun 08, 2012 @ 13:26:09

    really nice. It brings it all home, everything is in our control as long as we are focusing on the right things…


  3. Sacha
    Jun 08, 2012 @ 11:58:41

    This is nothing short of brilliant. The personification of your emotions took me to all of mine. What if i did talk to each as dear friends? I recently decided that my relationship with money was going to be sweeter so I’ve named my money feelings and exchanges, Tommy Hitchcock – my sweet, fabulous childhood friend! Now when money stuff shows up i say, “Tommy I notice I’m afraid – I wonder why? Let’s go get pollywogs and talk about it!” Money, Tommy and I are becoming friends again.

    Now i get to talk to some others outside my door…vulnerability and selfishness and ……

    Thank you once again for inspiring me.


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