Life has a way of grabbing a hold of us and before we know it days, weeks, months and even years can slip by so quickly. It has been some time since my last post, so I thought I should write a little bit about what has been on my mind and in my heart these last few months. If you have been following my posts you will know that I have been open and honest about how I have dealt with the pain and disappointments that I have experienced within my life . As we all go through life we will have let downs. No one is exempt. That is just how life goes. But what we decide to do with what we have been given is where our real test of character comes into place. Where our heart truly lies will show up in extraordinary ways when experiencing grief, trauma and pain. Many of my past posts have shown the ugly side of divorce and grief, but I assure you, although those times were painful, they were also times of joy. How can one experience joy in the midst of deep pain and suffering you might ask? Well, first of all we must define what joy actually is not.
Joy is not an emotion but rather an attitude of the heart. Joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness is external. It's based on thoughts, situations, events, people, places, and things. There has been some debate over the topic as to whether or not joy and happiness are indeed one and the same. From my own personal experience I can tell you they are not. When my grandmother died, I observed my family experiencing both grief and pain as well as joy. To say we were happy she had died would be a false and absurd statement. We missed her and were deeply saddened when she passed away. But we also knew she was not suffering anymore and that she was in a better place and with that came peace and joy.
Was I happy when I got my cancer diagnosis? No! of course not. Did I experience joy during my cancer treatments? Yes! I did. I felt joy knowing that I had family and friends that loved me and supported my journey. I felt joy knowing I was and am loved by my creator. I felt joy knowing that each day I had on this earth was a gift. The joy I experienced came from deep within my soul once I was able to fully surrender my negative thoughts and behaviours over to God and let His love and light fill my soul instead. Joy is not external, it can't be bought and it is not conditional on someone else's behaviour. When we trick ourselves into thinking that we can only experience joy once we have more money, better health, lose those extra pounds or have the perfect relationship, then we are just setting ourselves up for failures. Joy does not exist because of someone else. Joy exists because we choose to have peace within our soul and with our maker. We can not depend on another human being to bring us joy. Sure, people can make us feel happy but if we rely on others to fill our joy meter then we will always be let down. Relying on another human being, whether it be a spouse, child, parent or friend to grant us joy is unrealistic. Putting trust in someone else to bring fulfillment into your heart is only setting yourself up for failure. Putting trust in God is always a win win situation. God will never fail us and a positive relationship with self and creator will ultimately lead us to find peace and joy from within.
Another imperative truth about joy that I have found is that joy can exist even in the worst of circumstances.
Take the Biblical story of Paul and Silas for example. These two men had been severely beaten and thrown into a prison that was anything but desirable. They were hungry, tired and facing a possible death sentence. Very much in pain and shackled in chains, the two men did something so extraordinary that it is still talked about today. Instead of wallowing in self pity and anger, they chose to focus in on the blessings that they had been given in life. Instead of fear, their hearts were filled with joy and they began to sing songs of praise which literally brought the house down. Because of their joy, God caused the prison walls to crumble.
In my own life I have seen that very thing take place, metaphorically speaking of course. When life’s circumstances have beaten me down to the point where I feel as if I am imprisoned with overwhelming fears and anxieties, if I begin to count my blessings and sing praises, I find that soon after, the walls of fear and pain come crashing down. Even when I don’t “feel” like singing or writing a song of praise if I start thinking and praying positive words anyway, my mind and heart start to line up and before I know it I am feeling better and experiencing joy rather than negativity.
So for today and every day, I choose Joy! I hope this has been an encouragement to you. For each of us can experience joy in our lives regardless of situations or experiences. Joy is for all!
I leave you with this beautiful quote as it sums up this topic so perfectly.
With All my Love,
Mitra Dee xo
Choose To Live In Joy!
Life goes by in the blink of an eye. It’s too short to live upset, angry, resentful or ungrateful. If you look for the good, you’ll find it. Choose to be happy, to be at peace. Decide that each day is going to be a great day and grab each moment and make the best of it. Refuse to let negative thoughts take root in your mind and refuse to let negative people and situations drag you down. Trust your journey and know that if you make a mistake, it’s okay. See it as a lesson learned and keep moving forward. Spend less time worrying and more time being grateful for those who love you and all of life’s goodness. Choose to Live in Joy! ~Charity M. Richey-Bentley.