An Open Letter

Every single day of the year, we are being sold happiness. It does not matter whether it is in the form of a pill, book or holiday. The underlying idea is the same.

 

The problem with happiness is no one knows what it is. It is intangible, even a little mysterious. Trying to be happy is like trying to get sleep. The harder you try, the less likely it is to happen.

 

When one light fades, the one you want becomes visible. There is a peace that passes all understanding. * It sounds like a fantasy, a kind of mental Shangri-La where all the worldly travails are set aside, and we finally let go and breathe out.

 

Why does this peace allude all understanding? Because it is not a product of the mind, nor can it be understood by the mind. We are talking about something that exists at an entirely different level of consciousness that will never be found by looking in the world.

 

Sometimes, albeit rarely, you meet someone who has found their peace and not thrown out of joint by the vagaries of life. They have a look in their eyes, a calm and poise and something indefinable that draws you in inexplicably.

 

If someone were to ask why you feel so moved to get near this person, you find it hard to pin down. There is just something. The paradox is happiness and peace are not the same.

 

For the most part, we cannot control external actions from others or our environment, but we can control ourselves. We can control our perception and how we view what is occurring around us. The reason peace seems complicated to achieve is that our natural instinct is to react in a way that throws us off balance. We get upset, angry, anxious, and all of these are negative emotions we elicit out of habit.

 

If you could start focusing on separating your thoughts with your experiences and let them pass, only you decide how much meaning or the weight they hold. When you begin to let these anxious thoughts affect you less, you will gain peace in your life.

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

*Philippians 4:7

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2020
MJM ®

 

**This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

 

 

An Open Letter

Here we are in a new year and a new decade, and I was thinking of the people that defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact they have around others. They just create chaos.

 

Difficult people are drawn to the reasonable ones. All of us likely have had or have at least one person in our life who has us bending around ourselves like barbed wire. If you are the one continually hurt or the one constantly adjusting your behavior from being hurt, then chances are it is not you but them.

 

The goal of an abuser is to control you by making you feel bad about who you are, whether it is done publicly or in private. Criticism can be painful, particularly if the person doing the criticizing is only being mean and has no intention of being constructive.

 

Those that cuss and swear at you has nothing to do with you. These people have word poverty. Intuitively people understand profanity to be a way to intensify a statement. Now and then, this may be effective. It may also be funny. But if someone you know can only raise their voice, over talk and toss in profanity, it means they have a severe lack of vocabulary words at their disposal.

 

They are like a chef who only knows how to pour chili pepper over every dish. If you would not tolerate a restaurant that employed a chef like that, why would you tolerate a person in your life that has the verbal equivalence of said chef?

 

If you do not allow yourself to move past what happened, what was said, what you felt, you will look at your present and future through the same dirty lens. You must make a firm decision. It will not always happen naturally or automatically. Sometimes you will have to rise against the wind and say, “I do not care how hard this is. I do not care how disappointed I am. I am not going to let this get the best of me. I am leaving this behind and moving on with my life.”

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2020
MJM ®

 

*This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

 

 

An Open Letter

As I am coming up on the third lap around the sun of the death of my mother, I find myself reflective and grateful to have witnessed the humble, elegant, peaceful passing of my 89-year-old mother. Who knew I would be given so many gifts from one very painful death.

 

On the final day of her life, I had sat there in silence, in tears, and in awe of a woman who was never given a voice. She could speak but was never allowed to talk or share experiences without someone around her shutting her down or demeaning her. Yet, she remained humble and sweet her entire life. I never understood any of this until today. Her faith remained strong. I realize now, she was more interested in eternal life and everyone’s salvation. She understood this and talked about it often, and made it her mission.

 

The night of her death, as I drove home, two questions kept circling through my mind:  Am I living well? Did my mom name me Joy because she could give me nothing else? These questions are tough. I am happy to say I am paving my path. Your needs matter; do not ignore them. Sometimes you have to do what is best for you, not everyone else.

 

If we could learn to think better, we can ultimately learn to live better. It is crazy to see all of the beauty that comes from incredible pain. Life is unpredictable. It does not mean we are powerless, or we do not have many options to create meaning and find joy.

 

The happiest people live with not a set of circumstances but a specific set of attitudes.

 

When we are in the lowest of lows, we ultimately lose sight of the goodness in our lives. Gratitude becomes the first step in recovery after grief. Grief stains everything. To be grateful for what you focus on grows. Stop managing your time. Start managing your focus.

 

Our character is often most evident at our highs and lows. Be humble at the mountain top, be strong in the valleys, and be faithful in between.

 

Look for book two in the series I Wish Death Would Take A Vacation. Book one is I Wish Death Would Take A Vacation – My Story and book two is I Wish Death Would Take A Vacation – The Story Continues, due out this week.

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2019
MJM ®

 

*This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

 

An Open Letter

The unhappiest people in the world are the people who care too much what others think. We do not need to please anyone but ourselves. A simple rule everyone can understand, if we try to impress at any cost, we are disguising ourselves.

 

If we disguise ourselves, our essence dies. No one deserves to hide his or her true self, emotions or thoughts. What people say and do to you is much more about them than you. People’s reaction to you is about their perspectives, wounds and experiences.

 

Whether people think you are amazing or believe you are the worst is more about them and how they view the world. Now, I am not saying we should be self-indulged narcissists and ignore all of the opinions and commentary we receive from others. I am merely saying incredible amounts of hurt, disappointment and sadness in our lives come directly from our tendency to take things personally. In most cases, it is far more productive and healthier to let go of other people’s good or bad opinions of you and to operate with your intuition and wisdom as your guide.

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2019
MJM ®

 

*This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

 

 

An Open Letter

No one could have anticipated the veracity of Hurricane Dorian and its cruel, angry decent on the Bahamas. They have gone through countless hurricanes, and on the eve of Dorian, they knew the drill. Board up your home, secure your belongings, and stock up on food, water, non-perishable items and snacks. However, no one could have prepared for a storm of this magnitude.

 

Bohemians have faced down the merciless beatings of many hurricanes in the past. No one could have anticipated what many could liken to an atomic bomb going off. Imagine enduring this hell for forty plus hours. Once the water subsides, the debris is cleared and the bodies are counted, what hope will be left for the Abacos, the Grand Bahama and the outer islands?

 

I can only imagine their nerves are frayed, and they are like war-torn veterans as of this writing. We still do not know how many are dead or trapped, holding out for rescue. In real-time, Bohemians fortunate enough to escape Dorian’s wrath, held their breath and watched in horror as familiar streets and neighborhoods were swallowed up. The boundaries where the ocean and land once met were erased. The sea moved inland along with the sharks, unimaginable horror.

 

The situation has devolved into a humanitarian crisis. So many people have jumped in to help navigate the most challenging logistics. I have spent many wonderful vacations in the Bahamas and have found the Bohemian people to be some of the kindest people on the planet. They need our help.

 

If you would like to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, why not donate to #bstrong. Here is your chance. One hundred percent of donations go directly to helping individuals in disaster impacted areas with no administrative or overhead expense withdrawals. Visit Bethenny.com/bstrong to contribute. Bethenny Frankel is partnered with Global Empowerment Mission.

 

Thank you for your support.

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.
#joymmillsIwishdeathwouldtakeavacationmystory #joymmillssundaysoullutions #bstrong #globalempowerment #hurricanedorianbahamas #healing #trust #empower #godhelpusall #love #heartbreakingpain #theyarehumanbeings #thisisacrisis

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2019
MJM ®

 

*This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

An Open Letter

Childhood gifted me with a number of unhealthy survival mechanisms which still follow me around today:  a deep fear of conflict because for me conflict meant someone would leave. Constant apologies and guilt I am not responsible for and a voice in the back of my mind telling me no matter what I do, who I am, who I become, it will never be enough. It is one thing to forgive and move on from a wound we received in the past and another animal entirely when we get hurt again and again in the same place by the same people; a scab not quite healed over before it is ripped off.

 

This week what I am feeling is anger, unfairness, and aversion. Repressed feelings mean they will come up again at some point, most likely when another situation triggers a similar response. Negative emotions sap our energy, and that can spread like wildfire. I liken it to a single match burning down an entire forest. I do not want anybody to steal my ability to love and care.

 

Confronting someone who has hurt you can be a daunting and challenging task. Saying to another person, man or woman, what you said hurt my feelings, please do not do that again, is appropriate.

 

Here is what I know. The less you feed the bully, the less often, he or she will take your lunch. As always, being an example is our best teacher.

 

I am sorry is a statement admitting you are wrong and not letting your ego stand in the way. At times, it means nothing to say I am sorry, but it is a stepping stone to a future change.

 

I will not do it again is a promise. A promise is a debt so be careful when using your words. How can I make it up to you is a responsibility. Changing is difficult but not changing is fatal. I had to learn this the hard way. I do not always understand other people’s actions, but actions speak louder than words.

 

There have been some people around me that have slipped under my radar, and then I wonder why it is so hard to trust people. I ask them, why is it so hard to keep a promise? How do we keep ourselves from being weighed down by what other people think because in a few years, a few decades, a few centuries, it will no longer matter.

 

Here is what I was forced to relearn in the last few weeks; if I felt I treated others with respect, I would deserve the same. So, today I am starting over. I am relearning to manage the way people meddle. A lot of it comes down to how you react. When times are tough, no pain comes without a purpose. Move on from what hurt you but never forget what it taught you. Everything is going to come together, not immediately but eventually.

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2019
MJM ®

 

*This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

An Open Letter

I am going to be honest with you. For a long season in my life, it felt like I was going through the motions trying to get through the next day. Because of that, I was not able to enjoy what was right in front of me. At other times, I carried an abysmal pit in my stomach. It felt like my true self was locked up inside crying out for freedom with no way out. It is not how God intended for us to live our lives. Then, for another season, things got better.

 

When people are ill, my husband included, and the prognosis is poor, you feel like the Red Sea is in front of you, and you reach for God in despair. You try hard to trust with your whole heart, but sometimes the waves become huge. We try to keep our eyes on the moment, but we feel shaken.

 

It can be emotionally challenging, and at times it can be lonely, overwhelming and exhausting; yet, it is normal, the new normal. I have stopped pretending that everything is like it used to be. You need time to grieve your old life.

 

What I know for us no topic is off limits. All subjects are fair game, the good, the bad and the ugly. I remind myself to listen, and I honestly hear what my husband is saying. I do not wallow in self-pity, which is very unattractive. I have learned to find what works as a team with my husband and others to improve the predicament.

 

We will all have times where there does not appear to be a way out. Always remember, only by experiencing sadness do we understand what it is to be happy.

 

What was very normal the other day, watching my husband play with our small grandson. Hearing that little voice say, “I love you, too, PaPa,” and the light in their eyes illuminating would warm up the coldest days. It reminded me, if for a moment, right now everything is good, and I thank God for our Grandchildren.

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2019
MJM ®

 

*This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

An Open Letter

My philosophy is I have more faith than fear. I choose to be grateful. I take responsibility for my happiness. I am not a victim. I do not replay hardships of my past over and over. I have learned to save myself from myself. I chose to stop listening to doubt. I own my mistakes then forget them. I love myself first, and I get on with my life. I have never let failure convince me to quit. I am not the best at everything. I do not know if I am the best at anything. I do not ever let that prevent me from trying. Failure is a gift, and without it, you will never be successful.

 

Everybody has dull moments in life. When happiness eludes you, your soul is disturbed somehow. You do not feel anything because you are trying to be strong. How do you bounce back when life knocks you sideways?

 

We all go through times and seasons, and our joy seems to get lost. If we have not mourned it, if we have not grieved it, we switch into “coping” mode. The road ahead can be wide open, and you can be happy. There is a delicate balance. Perhaps you might have lost your sense of joy trying to take care of someone else’s constant sorrow, cynicism, anger and loss. You do not always want to be the strong one.

 

Until you decide to get to know yourself and make a connection with your inner self, you then will realize you are the only person who has the power and that power comes from the inside. The truth is, the moment we look outside for happiness is the moment we allow our happiness to be controlled. Every time you seek social validation or acceptance, you are handing your power over to others.

 

There could be a breakthrough ahead. Your breaking point is a solo journey. No outside feedback allowed. If you are feeling so unhappy, maybe your philosophy can be your entire life is based on external feedback and contributions that were never truly welcome in the first place. When you feel like you have reached that breaking point, something beautiful happens, you begin to listen to yourself, your truth. Your suffering will be where the healing begins.

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2019
MJM ®

 

*This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

An Open Letter

If I were writing a letter and I am supposed to be loving me first, should not the letter be addressed as “It is me?” I would address the letter as, “Joy, wake up. How have you been?”

 

I have been on quite a journey these past two weeks. I hugged my knees, cried for hours until the tears dried, and then I started to cry again. I sat there on the floor in a daze at the stormy situation around me. The fear was palpable, and the pain was real. It was heart-wrenching pain.

 

Life is never a straight line. Calamities and hardships are your greatest blessings. You know, the lessons in disguise. What the difficulties, the unexpected do is force us into a new and better version of ourselves. You are made to survive the hardest days of your life. I choose to live life on purpose. Here is to today and the week that awaits me and no matter what the week serves up, may I be grateful through it all.

 

Some years back, I had a grand epiphany. What I have learned is you have to stop giving so much of yourself to people who cannot even identify who they are. If these people do not sacrifice for you, then they should gain nothing from you. Things of value require sacrifice. It is a work in progress.

 

If people are too hurt, too busy or just too damn stupid to see you are the blessing they have been asking for, then, fall back. I know my worth. I deserve happiness, I deserve respect, and I deserve love. I have everything I need.

 

Deep down I am still haunted by past experiences. I know there is still unfinished business. I hope there is a resolution one day. I am grateful for the life I have now. It is my life, and I would not change a thing. If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans for the day.

 

Everyone has a story, and no two stories are the same. Remember, there are over seven billion people in this world, and none of them are like you. Your entire life journey is a series of footprints that have brought you to this very moment in time. Life is a tapestry of people weaving in and out of your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Every one of them has something to offer and share with you.

 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

 

Written with love.

 

Joy M. Mills (IP)
Copyright © 2019
MJM ®

 

*This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.

 

An Open Letter

Life is a toilet, but technically we are the ones who fill it, and thus, we are full of it as well. The toilet is not a place of residence. You get to leave the toilet when you are finished, unlike real life when you do not know when it will be over.

Breaking the habit of yourself requires a heavy dose of appreciation. You show up every day at a job you hate. Your marriage makes you feel miserable. You hate where you live. How the heck did I get here? How the heck do I get out?

Everything shows up for us based on what we believe to be true, what we believe we deserve. There is nothing more preventative from moving ahead than living in the past and continuing negative stories we tell ourselves. Misfortune can be an incredible opportunity to notice we are stuck in the state of mind that will never lead to fulfilled desires. Adversity could be a wake-up call telling us we are out of harmony with the life we want. 

I doubt that any of us have become masters of our Universe. Adversity and misfortune will probably end up in the mix of our daily life. We need to learn how to gain the maximum benefit from it. Maybe we feel like a shadow version of the person we know we are. If any of this sounds familiar to you, now is an excellent time to contemplate on what it is you want. Reassess your goals and remind yourself you are in the driver seat of your life.

Stop trying to figure it out all on your own. The truth is sometimes we do not see what we are doing wrong, and we need someone else to point it out. It is usually embarrassingly obvious when we look at it, but we would have never noticed it if not for an expert or a friend offering us another perspective. You are not alone in your struggles. The same handful of issues repeat themselves in so many lives. 

Put your insights into practice. You have to get clear on your purpose and vision. Thankfully, I woke up to who I really am. Beyond my body, thoughts, emotions, titles and roles, I discovered I was a soul in a body, not a body with a soul. 

Remember to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving. ©

Written with love.

#joymmillsIwishdeathwouldtakeavacationmystory #joymmillssundaysoullutions #joymmills #instagood #toilets #driverseat #soulinabody

Joy M. Mills (IP)

Copyright © 2019

MJM ®

*This article is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal or other professional advice. This article was written to support, not replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional care if you feel you have a condition.