In this outrage-driven world we currently live in, it is so easy to be depressed and miserable. Through TV and social media, we are bombarded constantly with depressing news and outrage-inducing content. There is so much pain and suffering in the world, and sometimes we just wish that we can solve all of it.
The hardest thing to do in this day and age is to be joyful. No, I’m not talking about happiness. I’m talking about joy. You see, there’s a very important distinction between joy and happiness that many people don’t make. Happiness is dependent on how you’re feeling, or the events of a particular day. Joy isn’t dependent on anything — it’s a state of mind and a constant choice that you have to make every day. Joy is having faith that in every negative situation, there is a positive. So, I’ll leave some famous quotes here that I hope will inspire you:
Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.
Keep your best wishes, close to your heart and watch what happens.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
-James 1:2-3 [NIV]
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.
Go forth into the busy world and love it. Interest yourself in its life; mingle kindly with its joys and sorrows.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Perhaps most important, being in a state of joy is a learned skill, not an innate ability.
I’m not going to get upset. I’m not going to let people steal my joy.
Roll with the punches and enjoy every minute of it.
Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.