8 Week Challenge: Joy
For this week’s challenge I’ve decided to do a little off roading. While I like the whole breakdown for this Challenge, I’ve decided that I’m going to go another way here and do my own thing. Joyful Anticipation and Joyful Excitement, for me anyway, go hand in hand. Anyone who knows me knows that I get super excited about even the smallest things, and will absolutely shiver with anticipation (five points to the first person who gets that reference) about any upcoming event. For example, I’ve got a big trip this summer to visit a friend of mine who I haven’t seen in over a decade. This trip has been in the works for a few months now, and is still two months away. Some people might get fed up with the waiting, but it’s just given me more time to build the anticipation. I think I’ve planned more things to do than could possibly fit into a weekend, but I’m just so excited to see my friend. The very thought of him brings me Joy, so I could be nothing but Joyous while planning this trip. I feel like a kid going to Disney World for the first time. Even if this trip were a year away I’d still be filled with anticipation and excitement.
Joy actually comes pretty easy to me, that’s why it’s taken me so long to write this post. I don’t really know how to talk about something that seems so effortless. I find Joy everywhere. That’s not to say that I don’t feel sorrow or regret, or even trepidation at times. I’m human, I feel all those negative emotions and more. The difference for me is that I don’t dwell on them. Joy is available for everyone, if they could only relax for a while and just let it happen. Even in what seems like the most dreary of lives, there is always Joy to be had. You know first thing in the morning, when your feeling all fuzzy from sleep, you still have crusties in your eyes and you get that long, perfect stretch? That’s Joy. You know how after a long day, where everyone was just riding your ass, you’re completely stressed and you finally get to sit down? That’s Joy. Or how about stepping into a steaming hot shower, feeling the hot water prickling at your skin and melting the day’s stresses away, pooling them at your feet and then washing down the drain. That’s Joy. These are the moments that can’t be taken from you.
Even if you’re unsatisfied in your job, aren’t happy with your romantic life, or hate your house, there are always the little Joys that creep up on you. That’s the thing about Joy, you can’t find it; it finds you. You’re not going to be able to find it on some treasure hunt, it’s not hidden under a rock, it’s not in the heart of another person, it just is. And once you do discover that it’s all around you, it’s free for the “taking” and it’s available to everyone, you’ll never be without Joy again. It’s really just a matter of choice. Do you choose to dwell on the remorseful aspects of life, or do you look forward to the Joyous? You could curse and swear and complain to everyone around you if you stub your toe, or you could sigh with relief when you put an ice pack on it. You could stress out and be full of worry after losing a job, or you could appreciate the experience gained and look forward to new opportunities. You could mourn the loss of a relationship for an eternity, or you could be thankful for the growing experience it provided and look forward to connecting with new people knowing that you’ll be a better Lover for all that you’ve learned.
It’s all about accepting the life you’ve chosen for yourself and knowing that every action you’ve taken and every action taken against (or for) you has a purpose. When I’m upset because my life hasn’t turned out how I thought it would, or I get frustrated with my body image, or any number of other things that piss me off, I remind myself that before I was even born, I, in my infinite wisdom, chose this life. I mapped my course, I placed my obstacles, planned my life lessons and plotted the mistakes I would make. And I looked forward to these experiences with great anticipation. There are days when I have to remind myself of this several times.
I know that I’ve chosen my life, and I know that I wouldn’t have chosen something I couldn’t handle. So now I choose to be content and Joyful.