You feel the joy and happiness in life because you choose it
Happiness and joy are not phantom emotions that drift in and out of our lives. They are present in your life because you choose them to be. They are the result of the thoughts and actions you choose, which produce chemical reactions in your body. A simple smile (whether you feel like it or not) brings about a chemical reaction that causes feelings of euphoria.
What you allow inside you is your choice
You may be thinking, “OK, joy and happiness are my choice, but what about when difficult circumstances choose me?” I get it. What you are going through may be pretty awful. No one avoids suffering in life. When I feel this way myself (and believe me I can feel this way) I try to remember a young girl who lived hidden in a dingy attic who could rarely open a window even a crack to let in fresh air, let alone go outside. She existed on barely enough food to stay alive, and in constant danger of being hauled away by the Nazi police to a death camp.
How could Anne Frank or anyone in that situation keep her head above the waves of despair? Because instead of seeing her tiny, tattered hiding place, she chose to remember all the people being herded onto railway cars. Instead of focusing on what little food she had, she chose to be grateful and humbled by the family who gave her and her family food from of their own meager rations. Anne chose joy that came from a heart of gratitude instead of despair from her circumstance because she could.
No matter what circumstances surround you, look around you. Imagine all that you see is suddenly gone. All of it. There are people who live with none of it. What are the contents of your prayers? Are they only beggar’s prayers always asking God for something or is the asking balanced with gratitude for the wonderful gifts you have been given?
And what if you lack emotional support from those around you? That is a choice too. The people who receive the most care are usually the people who are truly interested and engaged in the lives of others. We love to hang out with people who don’t always want to talk about themselves but instead want to know all about us and what is happening in our lives. They don’t sit around waiting to be loved. Even when it is difficult these people actively take an interest and make a friend in the process—and their lives are richer and more full because of it.
Remember, your life is a privilege. But a blessed and full life is yours because you choose it. Neither despair nor discouragement can take root in a heart filled with gratitude and joy. Why not let a cool breeze of joy fill your heart today? Be blessed, my friend!