Give In To Joy
Meet Favorite Bear.
Yes, that is really his name.
He was given to my brother when my brother was born. My brother didn’t want him and so, around four years later, Bear was handed on to me.
I wasn’t so creative on the naming front. But hey, I think it’s impressive that as a toddler I knew what “favorite” was.
Favorite Bear went EVERYWHERE with me.
I loved him so much he had to get a booty made to keep his but on and his feet in tact.
Then I loved him so much he had to get a second booty made from my favorite pink fabric.
Then I loved him so much he had to have a neck brace (too many hugs).
Then I loved him so much he had to get an emergency stocking. A full body-brace, if you will.
His ears have holes. One ear is almost completely missing. Pretty much only his face is visible and, even then, there are parts where his stuffing is coming out. His mouth has been mended time and time again. (I guess I gave him too many good night kisses.)
But he is fantastic.
To me, he is joy itself.
Favorite Bear lives at my parents house in a seat of honor in my Grandmother’s childhood rocking chair. I always look for him when I go home.
Because when I see Favorite Bear again, I go home.
I go home to my childhood.
I go home to my innocence.
I go home to my joy.
I go home to myself.
How often do we lose our childlike sense of wonder? Do we give in to fear, doubt, negativity, and the traps of adulthood? Do we stop loving purely for the sake of loving? We worry. We doubt. We compare ourselves to others. We live in fear of failure, fear of awkwardness, fear of missing out.
We let negative emotions, anxiety, nervousness, and the junk take us over. We lose sight of the love, of the happiness, of the here and now in the swirling world of adulthood, responsibility, shoulda wouldas, and general stress of life.
But Favorite Bear reminds us that the child is always within. We always have the capacity for success. For love. For joy. For unlimited happiness.
A child doesn’t worry about falling down. You fall, you get back up. A child doesn’t worry about fitting in. A child doesn’t hesitate to smile at the friendly looking child next to them on the bus. A child doesn’t live in the past or the future. The child enjoys the now for all that it is.
And so, with my bear in my heart, I make a promise to myself to recommit to that joy. To always maintain my childish enthusiasm. To look at the world for all that it has to offer. To take leaps of faith without worrying about what may happen if I fail. To express myself fully and completely. To dream big, to love big, to be completely me. To know that everything always works out in the way that it is meant to. Because that’s how it always works, isn’t it?
And above all, I promise to keep that connection to joy. To the here and now. To embrace each moment fully. And to shine my heart out to the rest of the world.
As they say in yoga NAMASTE.
The light in me IS the light in you.
And Favorite Bear is a reminder that we all have that light, that spark, that JOY within us at all times.
Embrace it. Love it. Be it!