Nina Groop

Life Coach, Author, Speaker

The Joy Enterprise

I recently noticed a car with a skeleton in the passenger seat in the grocery store parking lot. It felt like the exclamation point on the message the universe has been speaking to me lately. All around me, people are dealing with hard things. Two friends are deeply unhappy and living like there is no other option. Some other dear friends and loved ones have been dealing with the things that take our breath away—difficult diagnoses, hospice, the death of someone they love. Yesterday morning I woke up with the weight of what I want and don’t yet have sitting on my chest. Yes, sometimes life hurts, but that’s just sometimes. At its heart, life is a joy enterprise. If we’re not making more of it, for ourselves and others, then what are we even doing? Several weeks ago I read this in a New York Times article: “More lives are wrecked by the slow and frigid death of emotional closedness than by the short and hot risks of emotional openness.” Indeed. This life is for living. It’s for joy and for love. investing in happiness and love is always worth it—and the risk. This life is also for eating the ice cream and talking to dogs and taking your kids (or yourself) to the beach and the county fair. It’s for learning the guitar, painting on canvasses, and gathering with friends in a living room or a backyard. Mary Oliver says, “Are you barely breathing and calling it a life?” I hope not. If you’re unhappy, change it. If you want something, go after it. Don’t throw these precious days away. Don’t discount that wild beating heart of yours. The sad things will find you, that just happens, but will you go out and find the joy? Will you stop getting in your own way and decide your happiness is worth everything? Life is for yes, and as dear Mary Oliver said, “Joy is not meant to be a crumb.”