Finding your JOY again!
Franka Baly
March 2, 2013

Have you lost your joy due to something bad which happened to you? This week I want us to explore the question…

How do I find my joy again?

Sometimes in life bad things happen to us. They are usually unexpected and really throws us for a loop.  The quote I shared last week mentions that you can do three things “… let it define you, let it destroy you or let it strengthen you”. I hope you will choose the latter.  I am not saying that it is easy to move forward after something bad happens to you, because it is not. I know this from experience.

I have lost several people who were very close to me. My father, my mother, and my husband. Their deaths affected me profoundly and deeply but each one differently.  My Dad passed away as I was entering adulthood, I was just 18 years old. It was sudden and unexpected. I didn’t get to say goodbye and I had some things I wished I had said to him. I let that regret affect me for a long time. I tweeted recently that ” Regrets are a waste of time, they are the past crippling you in the present.” I heard this quote when I was watching Under the Tuscan Sun recently and I really loved it. I wish that I was so insightful in my early 20’s. I was not.

After losing my mother, who was my rock, and the center of our family, I felt lost for over a year. I couldn’t get my bearings. I was in my 20’s and I needed her guidance, both spiritually and mentally.  I was newly married and I honestly didn’t know anything about being a wife. I was hoping to learn from her wisdom but suddenly she was taken away by cancer.

The loss of my husband was both sudden and unexpected. He was just 41. After his death I was shell-shocked for over two years. I was on auto-pilot, trying to take care of my boys but not experiencing any joy as I went through the grief process. One day a voice said to me, “Franka, go out and live your life”.  I believe that voice was the Holy Spirit speaking to me. I have never been the same.

I know that sometimes bad things happened in life, for me it has been loss of life, but I decided that it would not define who I am today. The people that loved me would not want me to spend my life paralyzed and unfulfilled, not experiencing joy. I know my father and mother both sacrificed so that I could have a better life than they did. They instilled in me everything they could and then when it was time, God took them home. I just realized that in my blog picture I have my mother’s laugh. She squinted her eyes and covered her mouth sometimes when she laughed. I am reminded of her sweet spirit. She lives in me!

Maybe you have recently suffered a divorce, loss of a loved one, a job loss, a devastating illness diagnosis or a break-up and you are struggling with feeling stuck and joyless. Allow yourself to experience the pain, grieve for the person, relationship, yourself, etc. but DECIDE that you are going to go forward with a renewed energy and positive outlook about your future. Don’t stay mired in sadness and what I call the “woe is me”syndrome. Get up and get busy filling your life and your spirit with every positive and energy-filled motivation you can find. For me I write in my gratitude journal about all of the blessings I DO have in my life.  Focusing on the abundance instead of the lack helps me realize just how blessed I am. I read this quote recently from the great author and poet, Maya Angelou, and it really stuck with me; “I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow”.  IT WILL BE BETTER TOMORROW!!

When I see the boys happy, growing and excelling in several areas of their life, I think about how their Dad would be so  proud of them. I can almost envision the spirits of all three of my loved ones, my Mom, my Dad and my husband standing on the sidelines cheering them on and telling me. Well done Franka, well done. The people in your life who love you will be cheering you on. Show them what a SURVIVOR looks like. Now go find your joy!

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Has something that happened to you recently stolen your joy? What are you doing to find your joy again? Share it with us in the community.

Please Note: If you feel that you need some help to deal with the emotions that you are feeling as a result of a recent life trauma there are wonderful professionals who can assist you. Counseling from a licensed psychologist or counselor is highly recommended.

5 Comments

  1. Cat

    Thankyou Franka, I’m so glad I came upon your blog. Have been dealing with issues regarding loss for so long. Trying to get over perfection! You are a BRAVE woman, STRONG woman. We all need support in this crazy, short life. I’m going to keep watching, following this. 🙂

    Reply
    • Franka

      Cat I am so glad that you reached out and for your support. I appreciate it so much. I believe that I am no braver than you. Each of us has more strength in us than we realize but loss has a way of bringing us to our knees. If you are struggling just be patient with yourself and know that people grieve in their own way and in their own time. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and praying that you realize just how amazing you are. I wrote a post about perfection because I too struggled with it for most of my life, maybe it will resonate with you. Be well and have a Happy New Year!

      Reply
  2. Alexis

    Eight months ago my boyfriend of 3 years broke up with me to pursue another young lady. On top of that, that same day I went from being a devout Atheist to a Christian. Next, my parents finalized their divorce and my mother moved from one city to the next meanwhile, I was mid-way through my sophomore year of college. My mother lost her twin brother to Hemophilia and this lead to a major shift in her demeanor and temperament. A similar event also took place previously for my father, he lost his father figure to heart failure and also began to lose the positive aspects of his personality. He turned to a biker gang for support and is now a leader. My mother is doing better but at times seems to regret the decisions made. Although some of these issues do not directly affect me, I am at a point where I have realized that I have lost my joy and I want it back.

    Reply
    • Franka

      Hi beautiful Alexis. I am so glad that you decided to write this morning. You have been through so much in such a short time. When you become a Christian, the one thing that you may not know is that you will be greatly tested by life. There will be challenges that will test your faith. I want to encourage you. Although your parents appear to spiraling due to dealing with their own grief, because people grieve in their own ways, it does not mean that they don’t love you. Sometimes people succumb to their grief for a time. But one thing I know from dealing with great loss in my own life, is that this too shall pass. You have to take care of YOU right now. Your joy is not dependent on any one else, it comes from within you. You have to remember that you have great things happening in your life. You are a sophomore in college, what an accomplishment! Keep it up! Imagine how wonderful you will feel when you walk across the stage in a couple of years with your diploma. Imagine what job opportunities will be open to you! It will transform your life and expose you to some many wonderful experiences. The loss of your boyfriend, although hard, will not break you, but I know your pain is real. It can seem so overwhelming at times. Focus on everything you have done and will do. Find a mantra that you can say to yourself everyday, write it down and put it in front of you. On your mirror, your laptop, your car visor. Constantly remind yourself that you are special. Focus on all of your great qualities and what you offer to the world. You are a unique and wonderful spirit and the world needs what YOU have to offer. There is only one beautiful Alexis! We need what only you can give us. Love will find you again. Someone who has such deep capacity for caring and authenticity will be loved again. I am honored that you shared your story with me Alexis. I am sending you a hug right now. I have a few scriptures for you that I hope will encourage you.

      2 Corinthians 4:16-18
      Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV)

      James 1:2-4
      Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (NASB)

      Reply
      • Alexis

        Thank you, Franka! I really needed that. You are such an inspiration to young women such as myself. God bless you.

        Reply

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I’m Franka Baly, CXO

Franka Baly

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