Blessing #14: I Choose Joy
Joy is a Choice
Every day, our lives involve a series of choices to be made from the moment we wake to the moment we drift off to sleep. Certainly, we must make many of these decisions based on or in reaction to the decisions of those around us, whether they are people within our household, the people in our workplace, or the strangers we pass on the road. But there is without fail one choice that always depends solely on us: The choice to be more Joyful.
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” ~Henri J. M. Nouwen
Being joyful goes beyond the surface emotion of happiness, which while wonderfully fun to experience, is fleeting, temporary, and in direct relation to our circumstances at the moment. Happy comes and goes. Joy goes much deeper. It is a state of mind, a sense of contentment and peace that can co-exist with the more challenging and darker aspects we all face in our lives.
“Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Joy is about seeking a spiritual connection to life itself and serves as more of an anchor for our souls during good times and bad. It isn’t easily shaken off, but like a strong tree planted in fertile soil, joy has the capacity to take root inside of us and grow despite adversity. Joy doesn’t slap a fake smile on your face and ignore or minimize the hard things you are dealing with, but instead Joy taps in to your deeper reserves of faith, strength and courage, and in turn blesses you with confidence and community.
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Today, I will choose Joy. I hope that you will too!
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