Bit-of-Joy #17

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?

15 comments

  1. Hi Janet, another inspiring ‘bit-of-joy’ to start my day. Earlier this week, I visited my MIL at her aged care home. Her friend was in tears because no one would post an air mail letter for her. I took the letter and told her I would post it for her. She smiled and it made my day to think that a simple task of posting a letter meant so much to her. I am always filled with joy after my visits as with many of the older people all they want is an ‘hello’ and a smile and their day is complete. Have a beautiful day, Janet. xx

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  2. What a beautiful story about the homeless man recognizing and responding to your need. That’s the best example I can imagine of the point you are making in today’s bit of joy.

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  3. That was a lovely story Janet – I’ve had such a great evening reading stories that have been linked for #MLSTL this week – they bring me joy and that’s what Sue and I wanted from the party. My life (like yours) seems to be a lot more joyful these days – less drama and less balls in the air to juggle. I love that feeling of quiet happiness and nurture it as much as possible.

    Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM x

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    • Leanne – I’m certainly enjoying the #MLSTL parties. I’m finding so many wonderful blogs and folks to connect with! And absolutely, less drama in midlife! Thanks for joining the conversation…

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  4. This is an inspiring story, Janet. I have had a similar experience when I stopped to talk to a street beggar and she offered me a donut from my favorite donut shop. She taught me so much about generosity! Nice to ‘meet’ you. Hopped over from Karen Hume’s blog. – Molly Stevens

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    • Molly – thanks for hopping over! Yes – I think when we take a moment to engage those begging on the street, we can learn so much about them, ourselves, and life. Good to meet you too. I’ll be looking up your blog a bit later today….Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love your description of life at that time …”tossed like salad” I have felt that way on more than one occasion. While I do not have such an inspiring story to share, I do remember reading my young children a book called “Could Be Worse” (by James Stevenson) and I often find myself repeating that mantra when life feels out of control. Will pin this inspiring story on my #MLSTL board as a future reminder

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    • Molly – I’m sure you have inspiring stories to share. I’ve certainly been enjoying your blog. The memoir work you are doing will tap into those stories for you. I haven’t heard of the Stevenson work but I’ll look it up, certainly. And remember – tossed salad is a refreshing dish, so next time you get tossed, sit an enjoy!

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