||20||: Choose Joy

Photo by Godisable Jacob

What is Joy?

I’ve been in search of joy. I visualize joy like the color of the beaming sun and warm enough to cloak my shivering body. I imagine joy as the inner peace that is exceedingly great, more than I could ever ask or wonder.

According to dictionary.com, Joy (noun), is a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated.

Are you the source of your joy? When you are emotionally and spiritually bankrupt, who or what replenishes you? My joy is replenished when I connect with family and friends, when I sit in the sun and the weather is perfect. When I’m eating home cooked food across from my loving husband. When I laugh that laugh that has me gasping for air and holding my sides. I find joy when I sing praise and worship music to the most High. I am filled with joy running over when I give to others my time, talent and treasury.

Joy is a choice, that’s what I’ve been told. It is the expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety. It’s that moment when your arms are open and ready for a hug, and you go all in and receive it with pure intentions and you both feel loved. It’s hearing the laughter of a babe, so innocent, withholding nothing.

James Allen states in As a Man Thinketh, “We can only rise, conquer, and achieve by lifting up our thoughts” (32) “And the higher we lift our thoughts, the more upright and righteous we become, the greater will be our success, the more blessed and enduring will be our achievements” (33).

I say all these things, still, a couple weeks ago I couldn’t touch joy and some days I felt like a joyless prescription. I owned 1 single amber shade bottle left in the cabinet with a few harmless capsules that I refused to take. I didn’t want that sparkly sunshiney capsule that promised joy. I chose to wallow and I wanted to feel every bit of sadness. I decided to be that soiled rag in the corner. I sat around feeling damp and helpless and didn’t want a single soul to rescue me.

It was my pride, because I knew darn well that I needed rescuing. Who would see me lying there pathetically? Who would embrace me? Nobody filled my gaping whole but the one whom I call Creator and Good Good Father. My Heavenly Father runs after me, and extends a loving hand to make sure that I’m not lost in the abyss. Once I cry out and call, my precious friend runs after me and rescues me. The joy of the Lord, gives me strength and energy to get up every morning. Without that inner peace I’d remain in my bed without any initiative or effort.

We are in a strange place and looking at strange faces, socializing through lit up screens and passing people with their masked faces. Some wishing to be consoled, some wanting payment for their lost time.

After watching and completing many episodes and seasons on streamed platforms. I opened the Book of Life with stories that some call fairytales, historical lessons and parables. I call it an instructional guide for life, it gives answers to life’s questions, it provides a clear path in the mind where that was once confusion, it calms the racing mind when one cannot sleep, for some it’s the first time life has ever made sense. So I opened it to read a late night story and I read about an ordinary being who spoke with wisdom and knowledge and whom many didn’t believe existed even as the one stood in front of them. I smiled in amazement, this being is… indescribable.

Now when I fall asleep, each day there is an improvement. My sorrow becomes less and I feel revived.

So let’s return to the statement when I said, you and I can choose joy. Pick a time: where you liked your location and setting, you loved how you looked, you appreciated and adored the people surrounding you and you were so proud of yourself. Return to those great days, and with your hand on your beating heart remember that you are still here and can create more joyful present times. Reflect on those days that gave you joy, mirror those days back into your life, with hopefulness.

I am joyful, I am resilient,

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