OMG! Oh My Gosh! I have no joy. Since when? Why not? What happened to it?
I always have joy. It is an inner peace, a sense of well-being that is independent of my circumstances. I’m not always happy, often edgy, a lot tired and still I have my joy. It is a spiritual calm that reminds me that I am not in charge and “it’s all good” even if it doesn’t appear so. The last few weeks have been busy and stressful. I thought I was doing OK until I had this insight and realized I was not.
Joy is part of a trifecta. First I notice the beauty and blessings in my life and acknowledge my gratitude. The gratitude builds a constant stockpile of joy. The supply of joy creates hope. Cannot live without hope.
Joy is not merely an emotion, it is a cognitive process. What we think and believe is crucial to how we feel, therefore to how we act. When I realized my joy was gone I took time to check what I was thinking. There was worry, disappointment, fear, sadness all mixed with physical exhaustion. All these thought patterns were based on circumstances in my life BUT did not represent the WHOLE TRUTH. I let the negative aspects of each situation, coupled with my exhaustion, overshadow the positive ones. Now what?
Each negative thought was replaced by a truth that was realistic and accurate. Each projection of doom was put in perspective for today, letting the situation develop as it will anyway. All “What ifs?” were banished. The feelings of disappointment and sadness were acknowledged. I caught up on my sleep, went to the gym and ate less sugar. I focus intentionally on the beauty and blessings. I pay attention to what I’m letting in my mind.
My joy is back. Circumstances haven’t changed, what I think about has. This process of paying deliberate attention to what is good is a lot of work. It is so worth it. I have to work and struggle for other things I want –
! WHY NOT WORK FOR JOY!