so Take a Moment

(This picture): A moment from the best morning of my life, a morning where I laughed so hard I thought I would puke, and although all the things around me were still there, I didn’t care. And it is difficult – not to care, and sometimes it feels like: am I just leaving my people behind, am I just basking in my own undeserved privilege, am I just being apathetic to things that too many people are already apathetic to?

But happiness is not privilege, and happiness is actually something that we can all attain, like love. At first I want to think that as the layers of oppression are laid upon us it is more difficult to be happy, but let’s reverse that and see that the happiest places and the happiest people are often the ones who have the least, Any one of us can be happy at any moment; no, not happiness as a myth of continued and maintained joy, but joy in a moment – a moment of laughter or of surprise or of a surge of the feeling of love.

It can seem so difficult sometimes, those moments, because we’ve been working so hard to find them that we miss them or because we’re so mired in grief that they seem impossible and almost wrong to experience – but it is quite essential that we open ourselves to noticing them when they arise, because it is those moments that are resistant. The moments where we feel joy in our hearts, even if only fleeting, are the ones that make up our internal collage of the feeling of love: the energy of resistance and the frequency of life.

I’ve wondered lately what it means to heal; what it means to be healthy and whole in a diseased environment (how does one heal a wound that will never close?) – and maybe the answer is that the healing comes from the inside. The environment itself is stubbornly slow to change, and it will keep inflicting blows upon our bodies, but perhaps instead of looking for a salve to rub upon our wounds we fight it from within… Joy is the antibody to the virus of oppression, and we owe it to ourselves to be happy. We owe it to ourselves to experience moments of joy wherever they may come to us. We owe it to ourselves to take a break from the fight, to sit for a moment and laugh if even only at the ridiculousness of it all, to put ourselves before the struggle, because we are the struggle. (what’s the point of getting to the other side if we don’t know how to be free?) Not every single one of our actions has to be towards the greater fight; there is merit in simply doing something because we want to and in doing it we can find a shrug of joy in our hearts.

Let’s make less time for guilt and obligation and grief and instead let it inform our deep saturation within those small moments where something so ordinary can be extraordinary because we have learned to value bonheur as much as our tragedy. Appreciation, if only for the knowledge that we are alive and so able to continue to live our stories; appreciation for all the moments that are devastating and for all of those whose stories no longer continue.

Happiness is resistance and joy is love.

The Black Joy Project. #blackjoy

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