Embrace Joy: Instead of embracing the misery that comes with the many problems we encounter every day, just find one memory that brought you joy and think on that. It’s a good way to start building a positive attitude. – (Kimberly Dawn – ScentofFaith.com)
My first choice would certainly be to arrange my life so that I do not encounter many problems every day. I’m fortunate at this point to have arranged my life to experience low stress, autonomy, and freedom – which often comes with midlife. Joy tends to come easily.
But many folks juggle family and health concerns or financial burdens that make choosing joy more difficult.
I don’t want to discount the extra effort it might take to embrace joy when you are dealing with your own or a loved one’s depression, chronic illness, poverty, etc.
I do believe, though, that a person’s attitude impacts the mental and physical ability to face and deal with problems – and to be resilient.
So – at the moments when we or someone we encounter seems stuck in their misery, perhaps it is our opportunity to offer them a share in our joy.
That could mean a simple smile, a word of kindness, running an errand, completing a chore, or providing monetary support. We often don’t know what another is going through – but if we take advantage of opportunities to offer random acts of kindness, perhaps another might loosen their grip on misery and open their arms (and hearts) to joy.
Many years ago when my life had been tossed like salad and I landed in Chicago with little to my name and no idea of how I’d reinvent myself – I was walking home from the grocery store, my arms laden with bags but my soul laden with grief at the life I’d lost. I passed a man who appeared to be homeless asking passersby for change. When he looked at me, instead of asking for change, he simply said, “Oh sweetheart, is there anything I can do to help you?”
I can’t say that life immediately improved and all was well, but something shifted in me at that moment – giving me new strength to carry on.
Can you share an experience where another’s simple act of kindness removed the roadblock keeping you stuck?