Week 10: J for Joy

Joy is something that I feel is present early in life through childhood and for most of us… it gets a little blurred as we enter into adulthood with the new world of solo responsibility. I think at that transition in life, we can become consumed with self survival and school or work productivity that joy gets put on the back burner. Soon enough, we will catch ourselves saying…”I will be happy when I graduate.” or “I will be happy when I get married.” For all of us, we have had our version(s) of “I will be happy when ______________.”

I am definitely guilty of it throughout my life. It isn’t until the past few years I have changed my chip on that subject. I wish I could say it was a light bulb turning on in my head or some profound moment in realization, but it was a repeated idea that eventually & finally sunk in. The grand idea is as follows: You choose happiness in any moment. YOU CHOOSE!

What?! How could it possible to be happy when you are going through a horrible breakup, lost a loved one or have any amount of overwhelming stress in your life? It’s actually very simple and this one word has drastically changed my life… Perspective! Change your perspective. Find joy in that moment because it exists if you look for it. Once you find that piece of joy or happiness, lock onto it. Repeat it in your mind & heart and offer God gratitude for it. The more it resonates in you, the more joy will be brought out. The more that joy will become the forefront of your emotions and the rest will be easier to process. 

I will give you one of the most drastic examples I could offer from my personal life. Eight months after moving to Spain, my youngest daughter at the time was diagnosed with PNET brain cancer. This was by far the one of the two least joyous moment of my life and till this day remains as so. I would be lying if I told you that I had joy in the initial stages of her diagnosis, but as the journey unfolded, I found ways joy was still present in my life. I hung on to those found moments and didn’t let go because if I did, I don’t think that I would be writing this today. The entire journey of my daughter’s diagnosis, her short life and her transition to be with God… where I could find joy was my breath of life. It was made me not only want to survive, but become a better person through it all.

Elements of joy is what overrode the elements of despair, sadness, fear and more. However, you have to own that joy! You have to first offer gratitude for what brings joy. Then, find a way to spend more of your time in those places and hold that sacredness in your heart in the moments of turmoil. As I always refer back to… darkness is merely the absence of light. So with that, joy is always present. We just have to be willing to find that gift!

This week, see where joy lays in your life. It is impossible it doesn’t exist. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it joy! Find it… love it… and live it to it’s fullest!


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