Heavy emphasis on the word choose, especially for me this week.
Believe me I know when you're upset, mad, or just not having a good day, the very last thing you want to do is choose joy. Most likely you do not want to come in a ten foot radius of anything slightly positive, joyful, or well, happy.
Why is that?
Why do we love to stay in that dark place?
You know when you cry for an extended period of time and after you feel really tired. Like the only possible way you could get over something is to sleep. Ya, well thats because those types of feelings are emotionally draining, so why do we hold onto them so tight?
I have watched myself do this over and over again this week, I think because I am trying to choose joy, I can more predominately point out when I purposely not choosing it.
Sometimes its not even that I'm "not choosing" it, I am straight avoiding it.
I was trying to figure out why this is, wondering if I felt more justified in my anger if I was angry longer, or if I cried that extra twenty minutes did that mean I cared more.
And the answer was no.
No, being angry longer did not justify my actions toward people.
And crying longer did not mean I cared any more or less about a certain situation,
these things just left me tired or feeling worse.
The only thing that got me out of these dark places (honestly) was smiling, or feeling a of delight.
It was like a freedom from the bad things, to just choose to let it wash away.
No matter how big or small, just a simple reminder that I did not have to stay in the dark place.
It came at various times and in very random ways, but either way the joy kept presenting itself and I had to make the choice.
Little joys that interrupted my grumpy moments this week:
- the coffee shop at school having gingerbread coffee even though its not in season
- music that makes me cry
- a nine year old whose words affect me more than any adult I have encountered this week
- happy phone calls from a far away friend
- encouraging emails and texts messages that come just when I'm about to lose it
- a close house to nap at between classes
- having crocs on when its raining so I can walk through puddles
- someone holding the door open for me
I could go on and on because I had a really horrible week, yet every time I started to feel that way something would happen to counteract it. They were generally simple things but when I decided to see them as joy and accept them, my week was really not so bad.
How have you been choosing joy? I would love to hear!