Being Open to the Possibility of Joy

Helen Howell does one-card Joie de Vivre tarot readings on Facebook, and just out of curiosity I asked her, “Does the card promise me joy?” I have never been a joyful person, have never really thought happiness was that important —other things have always mattered more: contentment, truth, friendship. Still, it seemed the logical question to ask of a Joy of Living card. And this was Helen’s response:

To answer your question of does the card promise you joy?

The Joie de Vivre has given me the Sun reversed.

Had this card been up the upright I would have said a definite yes, but the card is telling me there has been some disappointments from the past that still are with you. It says there can be happiness and joy, but for now it’s you that seems to be clouding it for yourself.

I wonder if the disappointment angle comes from maybe not totally getting the acknowledgement or success you hoped for in some part of your life? I think too this card is telling me that there has been a loss of something or someone that has taken the light out of your life a little. Did that loss provide the joy for you?

In this card the figure wears a suit of yellow, that’s the colour of mental activity. It seems to indicate that you have been thinking about things, giving a great deal of mental energy to this, but also note he wears a cloak of soft purple and that shows me that you have an awareness of this.

I like how the seahorse has green leaves around the sun flowers on its tail and also how a plant is growing in the foreground. Green symbolizes for us balance, adaptability, growth and potential. It seems to suggest that there is the potential here to adapt to circumstances better and bring things back into balance that will bring you the joy you hope for.

This is a number 19 card and it breaks down to 1+9 = 10 – this is the number of endings and beginnings all in one. It shows us that something has to be released before a new start can be made.

It appears to me that the Joie de Vivre is telling me that you need to stop blocking the joy from your own life. Be aware of how you think about certain things and this in turn will allow you the potential to adapt better to certain circumstances, which will result in a happier you.

I hope this has helped in some small way. I ask that you give me feedback and if you liked the reading.

I attach a link to the card, but remember this shows the card in an upright position and I drew it in reversed.

Thanks for allowing me to read for you.

Helen @

And here is my response:

Very interesting, Helen. I lost my life mate two years ago, and I am still struggling with grief. It’s not that the joy has gone out of my life, because I have never been a joyful person, but that the meaning has gone out of my life. I’m trying to find meaning in my life, in his death, in my writing, in the future. And yes, I think about it. And yes I am aware of how much mental energy I am giving to such thoughts.

Actually, I need balance more than joy. His death threw me and the world off balance, and my grief caught me by surprise since I knew he was dying. But I never understood what his goneness from my life would mean, never understood that it would bring me such an awareness of death, that it would shatter me.

This has been a time of great growth for me, and yet this is only the first part of my journey back to life. I’m taking care of my 95-year-old father, and when he is gone, I will have to find a place to live, a reason to live, something to care about. I’ll have to completely start over. I’m trying to see the good in that, but since I haven’t a clue what to do or where to go, mostly I’m just waiting.

I don’t know how to let go of my grief. Supposedly it takes three to five years, so perhaps it’s too soon.


What particularly interested me was Helen’s comment that I seem to be clouding my own happiness since other people have suggested the same thing, but to be honest, I don’t know how to dispel the clouds. Perhaps time and a willingness to face whatever life brings will take care of the matter. Or, as Helen points out, maybe I just need to be aware of how I think about certain things.

Throughout this grief journey of mine, the only future I’ve been able to envision is one of continued sadness and loneliness, and I’ve tried to prepare myself for such a life. But just because all I can see are sadness and loneliness, it doesn’t mean that’s all there will be. There could be joy. Maybe that’s all the Joie de Vivre card is telling me — be open to the possibility of joy.

7 Responses to “Being Open to the Possibility of Joy”

  1. helenscribbles123 Says:

    I’m glad the reading has helped in some small way. ^__^

  2. leesis Says:

    Pat. There is no way your future can be “continued sadness and loneliness”. I feel so sad that you have been feeling that way.

    Look at two years it’s simply the way it is that grief is the dominant force…or cloud… in your life. Jeff was your life; each day of those decades, even if not consciously remembered, are indelibly tattooed on your psyche. The immensity of the loss must be respected. As the third year grows so will the clouds lighten.

    Of course people often get stuck in the sadness and loneliness for a long time if not for ever. Some don’t allow the clouds to lighten. If we isolate ourselves from those outside our doors, if we allow ourselves to get stuck in bitterness, if we hold in our grief, or hold to tight to it, or medicate it with all the possible addictions legal and illegal…if we do these things we create sadness and loneliness. We need connection with others and we need emotional honesty.

    But Pat I have been reading your posts for a couple of years now and I have never held a skerrick of a doubt that there will be clear skies again for you with added depth of meaning that brings joy of that true deep quite type.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Leesa, thank you for your encouragement. It’s amazing to me that I still feel such sadness. But as you say, the immensity of the loss has to be respected. The worst times for me are the realizations that he is dead, since I don’t know what that means, just that he is gone from this earth. That enormity is something I cannot comprehend, and his being gone from this earth is harder for me to deal with than his being gone from my life. It seems too little to ask, to have one more conversation with him, to find out if he’s okay and doesn’t mind being dead. So far he isn’t saying anything. I hope it’s because he has something wonderful and challenging to occupy his time. I want more for his eternity than to spend it watching over me.

  3. Joylene Butler (@cluculzwriter) Says:

    I don’t know how you force joy into your life either. I think there’s a process and if you spend time inside your body and not wrapped up in your thoughts, maybe joy comes naturally. I think, as in everything, there is a season for joy. But there’s also a season for grieving and sadness. Perhaps it’s a circle. I don’t know anyone who has tried to understand the process more than you are, Pat.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Joylene, maybe it is about spending time in our bodies. We are the only us in the universe, so we need to be us.

      I truly didn’t intend to expend so much effort trying to understand the process, but grief totally blindsided me, and I needed to know why. I mean, I knew he was dying, and we’d spent the last three years of his life disentangling our lives and severing the connection. I truly thought I’d moved on, yet after he died, I experienced such agony and angst that it shattered me, my identity, my understanding of life . . . everything. I had no intention of spending my whole life in that state, so I had to figure out what was happening so I could figure out where I was and where I was going. Maybe I’ll get there. And maybe I already am there, wherever there is.

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