Life. Oh, how life can give us a beating! We just feel bruised and battered sometimes, don’t we?
We can let our bruises turn into bitterness, if we’re not careful. That bitterness can morph into anger. That anger can isolate us. And that isolation can make us sad and lonely.
And before we know it, we’ve lost our joy. We’ve lost our smile, and that twinkle in our eyes that would appear when we got excited about something. When we were happy with our lives. With ourselves.
How can we know if we’ve lost our joy for living?
I think we KNOW. We feel it, deep down. We just get afraid to climb out of the cycle we’ve found ourselves in. And fear… fear is powerful.
It’s easy to live our lives learning to throw “no’s” around left and right. “No,” we won’t go here, “No,” we can’t do that. “No,” they won’t ask us. But what if we took the risk, and changed even just one “no,” to a “yes?” “Yes,” I will participate. “Yes,” I will open my home. “Yes,” I will smile.
Before we know it, the mood of our day starts to shift and change. Our attitude shifts and changes. And we start living again. We start LOVING again.
Joy is never found in the “alone.” Sure, maybe we all need quiet times for ourselves once in awhile. But those are temporary. Those bring joy in a different way. Joy in the form of reading a book, or watching a good movie. Joy in the uninterrupted slow pace of drinking a hot cup of coffee. Joy in “me” time for an hour or two. Or a day. But joy is not found in extended “alone.” For we lose touch with people. With emotions. With relating and emphasizing with others – and having them relate and emphasize with us.
We all suffer bruises and scars in life. But true joy is found, when you keep going despite those very bruises.
We can be wounded forever, or we can be wounded once in awhile – learning from those wounds, and letting them make us stronger.
I only have one chance at this life-thing. I don’t want to waste it feeling bitter, angry, lonely, or fearful.
I want to feel joy. I want to know joy. I want to be joyful.