Joy is a choice
If you know me, like really know me, then you know I don’t play about boundaries. Im a fierce protector of my peace. My ability to have joy in spite of what is going on around me is my greatest asset to myself. But I haven’t always had that. I used to operate under the false pretense that Joy and Peace were a manifestation of what was going on outside of me. That the absence or presence of them were a direct reflection of what I had or didn’t have tangibly. I thought that if I could manipulate or manage the external pieces then it would adjust my internal peace. What a merry go round of emotional roller coasters I used to put myself on. Constantly tossed back and forth by the decisions of others. I relinquished so much of my control to people and things that had absolutely nothing to do with me.
I remember having a conversation with someone years ago telling them why I was feeling so down. There only response to me was to “make a different choice”. I was confused, like did this person hear what I just told them? I really was offended. I felt I didn’t have a choice in why I felt the way I felt because I didn’t choose for that thing to happen. I didn’t choose for something to go wrong so how could I choose a different feeling? I argued them down and left the conversation feeling so dismissed.
But a few days later while I journaled I had an epiphany of what they were trying to communicate to me. My life really changed for the better from that point forward. While I had every right to be disappointed, upset, or hurt by things outside of me that adversely affected me, I still had the gift of choice. We all have it every single day. We get to choose what we do with those experiences. We get to choose how we take them on. We get to choose the story we tell ourselves as a result of them. We get to choose if we allow them to destroy us. We choose how long we wallow in it. The choice of peace or distress, Joy or depression, is ultimately in our hands.
And while making the decision doesn’t mean that we don’t feel sad and down, it doesn’t all of a sudden make us immune to pain and hurt…it means that we don’t allow ourselves to stay there. That we don’t take on other people’s actions as a reflection of us and that we don’t allow them to dictate our peace. We have very little control over what this life hands us. But radically accepting what is while still choosing to live in peace is the best gift we can give to ourselves. At the end of the day we’re all doing the best we can with what we are given. Make the decision everyday to choose yourself, to decide that no matter what comes or goes that you’re always worthy of peace and joy.
James 1:2 Count it all Joy