I Choose Joy

We’ve reached the last month of the year, can you believe it?!  I’m super excited to be in this month of holidays.  This month we’ll be changing things up a bit for the holiday season and each week I’ll be sending out the usual spiritual and monthly theme post, but rather than a “reality reflection” post we’ll be taking a look at some Christmas songs and carols (yes all the way up to the new year).  This month our theme will be joy!  Yes, I know we talked about enjoying life in October, but I don’t think that ‘enjoying’ something comes with the passion, heart or freedom that ‘joy’ does.

To start I want to talk about one of those differences between enjoying things and life, and joy: that of choice.  Like many things I believe that joy is a choice.  Yes, you will have moments in life that something good surprises you and you feel happiness. I believe that we have the choice to accept those moments and find joy in them, or you can stay focused on the hurt you’re feeling, the challenges you’re dealing with, the problems going on or just how miserable and awful your life is.  To think about the classic story of Scrooge, until he got a reality check of exactly what his unhappiness was doing to him and others and the way his life would go if things didn’t change, his choice wasn’t joy.  But once he got that reality check he chose to live his life with joy and consideration of others.

With the holidays season just beginning we’ve got a lot more days of crowded stores, busy streets, pestering for presents and “fun” family/work parties to attend.  Of course, you could choose to find the good in those moments and choose to share joy wherever you go this season, even if everyone else around you is grumpy.  I encourage you to make this your most joy-filled holiday season ever.  Don’t let what the news stations say about the state of the world deter you from spreading Christmas cheer.  Where will you start?

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”  Henri J.M. Nouwen

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