Where do your moments of joy come from? Is it from the smile of a child or someone you love? Is it the smell of fresh cut grass or even the rain on a Summers day? Your favorite movie, song or poem? What uplifts you and reminds you to live? For me it's been many of those things, but it wasn't always that easy. Finding joy isn't always easy, so sometimes you just simple need to create it.
Joy for some people, is just illusive. Some people always seem, no matter what is going on
around them, to be bummed out. You can gift them with a flying unicorn the sneezes skittles and poops gold, (you know where I trying to go, right?) basically you just can't seem to get them out of the dumps. That's because, it's not your decision. Joy comes from within. We all have the ability to have joy, we were born with it, it is God given and a fruit of the spirit.
I know some of you may be thinking, what do you mean it's a decision? Yup, it is. You decided, that hugs bring you joy or the sound of babies laughing bring you joy. There are people who don't like the sound of babies laughing (clutch my pearls, those people must be monsters), you may not believe me, but they exist. And that is their decision to find other things in life that bring them joy.
For a long time, I thought it was the responsibility of those around me, to bring me joy. I put that responsibility on my husband, friends, even my baby. I was home alone with my newborn for 5 months while my husband was deployed, and I was having a great time, everything was new and joyous. When my baby started to smile, my world would light up. I would tickle him or play with his cheeks and he would wiggle and giggle. Thinking of it now, still make my heart flutter and my mouth curl until I just burst into those little giggles myself. He was and still is my joy, but that's not his responsibility. One day I tickled him and he looked at me like, woman if you don't stop trying to tickle me, we're gonna fight. I took his queue and slowly back away.
I've heard from friends and even said it to my husband "You're not making me happy." Honestly, thinking back, what in the world was I thinking? How could I put that on him? That is a hard task to sell and a hard pill for him to swallow. Hearing that from me, must have sucked the air out of the room and punched him in the gut, he tried, but there always seemed to be something missing. I was still looking to him to make me happy, to fill my bucket of joy. Trying to make him a mind-reader and joy provider, was completely unfair and unrealistic....Boy, do I have some more apologizing to do.
The next year when my husband deployed, I was not working and my kids were at school all day, I realized I had to find that joy deep within me. There was no relying on anyone else. This revelation should not have been that hard for me to find. I grew up in a Pentecostal church, I must have sung, "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart," thousands of times and "Jesus you are the center of my joy," was one of my favorite songs growing up. So why was I looking for everyone else to be my joy? I had to get that joy that was deep down in my heart to rise to the surface. I had 2 little boys, who where dependent on me and my husband was half a world away, depression was not an option.
It started with a beat. I was driving around, running errands while my kids were in school, I had on my favorite radio station and this song came on and the beat was just pulsating through me. I started bobbing my head, snapping my fingers, I was grooving. I turned the radio up, the bass almost matched my heartbeat. It wasn't even my usual style of music, but it moved me and had me jamming out. It made me feel so good, I searched for the song on YouTube and had it on repeat for about an hour. I learn the words, even created my little dance moves to go with it, it gave me life. For months, whenever I felt down or things weren't going my way, I played that song. It was where I parked my happy and I went back to it whenever I needed it.
Now I have a whole playlist of joy, that helps me get to my happy place. I often use it to start my day. Yup, I have my own theme music, check me out. I like to say, when in doubt dance it out. If ever I feel doubtful about my day or even want to keep hope alive for certain situations, I put on my playlist to keep my mood up. Look for those moments of joy that give you a pep in your step to keep you going. Get to your happy place, and really....Get Caryed Away.