Fighting for Joy - DreamsCo

I refuse to be taken down by sorrow. I will fight for every joy this life can offer.

These words came to me this afternoon as I was driving home in heavy traffic. I liked the saying because it reflected the choices I've made.

A week ago, a skating friend said, "Marci lives this charmed life. She gets to skate and travel and do all sorts of exciting things. I assume she's a trust fund baby."

I had to laugh. It's not the first time someone has thought I came from a pampered background. Many people assume I had a childhood filled with puppies and rainbows and that the fist time anything ever hurt me was two and a half years ago when I left my relationship and my brother became ill (the beginning of this journey). When they see how I live my life, they assume someone else is helping me or that it's been handed to me.

The truth about my childhood, like many others in this world, it was far from easy, but I was loved by my mother and my extended family. Determined that I would have more than she did, my mother taught me to dream, to meditate, to believe I could be and do anything. Through times of great sorrow and knowing the depths of hell, I also had a deep faith: I spent hours in the woods taking in the beauty of life and listening to my own heart. Through this came a belief that no matter what happened to a person, nothing could tarnish or harm their spirit - that though life had hardships, beauty existed everywhere along with love. These beliefs were the trust fund of my youth. They've carried me throughout my life.

My mantra through the worst times of my life was always, "The only way out is through." I refused to just survive, but in the end to be better, stronger, happier, and to have learned all that I could so that my life could soar.

We all have a choice in life - to live focused on the sorrow or the joy. I've seen the poorest child in Africa happier than many people in this country who have so much. The question you need to ask yourself each day - Will I be taken down by my sorrow or will I fight for my joy?