No joy

A few years ago, I came across a TV series which I’d never seen while it was on the air. The series, Flashpoint, wasn’t a violent, intense police drama like most that have been produced in recent years; especially on cable and through streaming programming. Despite the lack of gratuitous violence, Flashpoint worked.

The program’s elite squad known as SRU would refer to having “no joy” when they weren’t in a position to shoot a violent offender causing carnage throughout the city of Toronto; or, based upon where they were standing, there was no clear view in which to proceed (e.g., to make a move that would lead to a favorable outcome).

I like that phrase, No Joy. And there are times in life when there simply is no joy. We make futile attempts to go around an experience. Worse, we try to outwit the Universe by making life choices with the belief, if not hope, of making something happen that no matter what we do or how we try to finagle our path, there is no joy.

It took a long time–I mean a very long time–for me to figure it out: there is no way around a Divine experience. More importantly, if we claim to have faith, we should make every effort to honor that belief. Even for those of us placing faith in Divine guidance and/or Divine timing, we’re still too impatient to wait it out.

This blog is about being accountant for your life, and to live it purposefully. Anyone who supports the idea that there is Divine meaning in what happens to us, at some point, begins to recognize when the time comes to back away and let the Universe do the heavy-lifting. There’s an innate something that kicks in and we get it–our timing is off.

There are certainly no joy moments in which a door becomes ajar solely as a result of unrelenting will. It doesn’t necessarily mean that door was ours to walk through at that time. And if the timing was wrong, eventually a series of seemingly out-of-the-blue setbacks will be the Universe prompting us to respect who, ultimately, is in charge.

Oftentimes, when stuff that makes no damn sense begins to manage our lives, there’s a high probability of being blocked as a result of forcing something to happen. Then again, it could be that a radical change is required in order to achieve our intended goal. Discernment is amazingly tricky. It’s sometimes difficult to establish in the mind when the ego is getting in the way of Divine moments.

Yesterday, sitting with several women a decade or two younger than me, I recall those years of wanting everything right in that moment. I didn’t care whether it was not perfect or right timing. These were educated women, and of the three, not one was fulfilled in their careers. Why I was even with these women was because we had one thing in common: writing. We sat together at a screening, and afterward decided to have drinks at a bar a few doors down from the theatre.

By the nature of their conversations, I knew my telling them that the stalemate feeling they each seemed to be experiencing wasn’t necessarily about “going back to school” or “L.A. is so this or that.” Those, however, could be the underlying factors–needing additional education, and/or environmental change. I had been where each of these women are right now, so many times. And the first thought was to “go back to school” (again), and to leave L.A. (again)!

In the most subtle way I could muster, I said something about letting the Universe decide. Despite it being recycled material written by numerous authors over the years, I found myself recommending a book I’d recently read by Gabrielle Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back. Following that–and the comment was rather random–someone said to me, “Well, you have it together.” This isn’t something I’m faking or hoping that I’m pulling off–“having it together”; I’m far from it. One day I ceased forcing to achieve the unachievable, and I got tired of feeling no joy despite immense effort to attain a particular goal.

One morning, one afternoon, one late night when I felt it can’t get darker than this, I began to stop trying to force stuff to manifest. I discovered that forcing a specific outcome doesn’t align with Divine timing. I found myself in the position of having to do some hard a** work. I began to manage the amount of time I placed on a tangible, then I released it. If, in some window of time that seemed rational and I didn’t sense something happening despite my efforts, I trusted that it wasn’t for me. Or plausibly, the timing wasn’t right.

My life is by no means in equitable balance. I struggle each and every single day to hold on to what I do have. I use mega effort and sufficient time to manifest things that matter to me now. But at long last, I have learned to respect when there’s no joy.

No joy doesn’t mean no. It means not now.



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