Jar of Hearts

It is no secret that last year was a hard one for me and the rest of the family. I spilled my grief and tears over this site like a super typhoon with no sign of letting up. The colours of the rainbow faded into grey. 

In that state, it was hard for me to look up and see the sky which used to give me so much joy. I am either hunched over looking at the pavement or staring straight ahead with my mind mercifully blank of any active thoughts. 

It was hard to pick up the brush again and make something beautiful apart from what was required of me. True, the technical skill and preseverance were still there but the heart is somehow missing. My usual happy literary muse abandoned me without a word.  What was left was my angsty muse. This made holding on and developing a thought extra hard. Being inspired to flex my literary muscles  was painful even at the best of times. For a while there, I almost permanently put my pen and paint brush as I no longer want to give affirmation to the pain and loss. 

I, the social butterfly, had withdrawn from most social activities as it was hard to smile when happiness doesn’t reach both my eyes and heart. It was hard to be around happy people. 

Then last year, one of my good friends, taught me something to help me cope. She challenged me to find a jar where I can put pieces of paper on which I am supposed to write the things that made me smile or happy. The cynic in me did not want to do it because I thought finding joy right now was unrealistic. 

But I discovered something … Grief does not work 24/7. Even when I am mostly on auto-pilot, there were instances of little joys. The moment I allowed myself to see and feel the possibility of happiness, more came my way. So I decided to write on tiny pieces the reasons for me smiling or feeling happy. 

Perhaps this is what the ‘Law of Attaction’ is all about. If I allow for happiness to come my way and I give out smiles then I will attract same. Slowly, my jar starts filling up and the smiles come easier. My literary muse returned and I started writing poems again. I started looking forward to the mornings and looking up the skies. Pictures of beautiful cloud formations started to fill my timeline. The gray world gave way to the colours of the rainbow.

 My hands started itching to pick up my paint brush so I can make something beautiful again. Music can be heard again in my flat and my poor telly has finally been put to work again. Life has a semblance of normality again. 

Oh the grief is still in the background and every now and then it will rear its ugly head to weigh down my heart just like today. But it doesn’t stay. It doesn’t linger. It does not encroached on my whole being. It leaves because there is always a reason to smile. Today was slightly trying – the lack of sleep and staring at raw grief made me an easy target for grief. I acknowledged the grief but I did not hold onto it. I like my colourful world so much better than the sad gray world I was in. 

When I got home, I looked at my Jar of Hearts and smiled – there had been plently of reasons to smile in the last two months and I am hopeful that more will come my way. 

Give love, receive love. Sow happiness, reap happiness. This is what my jar of hearts is all about. So if you made me smile, thank you for filling my jar of hearts. 


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