In Search of “JOY”
JOY noun \ˈjȯi\
: a source or cause of great happiness
: something or someone that gives joy to someone
: success in doing, finding, or getting something
: the expression or exhibition of such emotion
There is no need to try to figure out a true definition of joy because it is impossible to define a feeling. It can mean different things to different people. Let’s skip the semantics and see how to get more of this “joy.”
I can only speak for myself when I say that joy is determined by the way I choose to view any given situation. I can choose to focus on the negative aspects of a situation or I can choose to focus on the good. I can choose to look at the crap or I can choose to focus on the good. Simple: it is my choice.
People spend their entire lives in search of joy but never find it, because joy isn’t something that you can find. It is a feeling. My life has been a continual search for joy. I was looking for an elusive “pat on the back,” you know the elation you feel when someone notices your extra efforts? That feels great, at least for a few minutes. It just never seems to hold on or be enough. The problem hit me: my joy was being determined by others “noticing” me.
Imagine what happened when I decided to change my focus, to recognize my own reasons and views towards joy. For example, I worry about my daughter…a lot. I worry about her school, her boyfriends, her safety, her social interactions, her future. I was spending so much time worrying about her that I was failing to acknowledge the joyful situations I have with her – long walks in the woods, her adorable sense of humor, her creativity, her adventure and her love for the moment. Those are the things that bring me joy. So, why was I spending so much time and energy on the worries? I really don’t have the answer. All I know is that it came down to a choice for me. Do I want to worry about what hasn’t even happened yet or do I want to focus on all the joys my daughter brings to my life? It’s a no brainer.