Tuesday, March 1, 2016

choosing joy.

As I was perusing Pinterest (as one does on any given weeknight), I came across a beautiful pin in gorgeous typography that said, “Today, I choose joy.” I thought to myself, “PSH YEAH OKAY EASIER SAID THAN DONE, INSPIRATIONAL PINTEREST QUOTE.” My jaded and tired mind just couldn’t really understand that kind of declaration. How do we choose joy when things are so not joyful? Like yeah sure, life is an absolute mess, but lemme go ahead and choose joy for a second.

The dog just threw up all over the house. CHOOSE JOY.
You lost your job. CHOOSE JOY.
Your sick in bed and can’t breathe through your nose. CHOOSE JOY.
You have anxiety, depression, or some other mental disorder. CHOOSE JOY.

“HOW ABOUT NO!!!” I screamed (internally) at my laptop. You go ahead and you go choose your joy, Pinterest, and go paint some cabinets with chalk paint while you’re at it!
But what was I really mad about? Was I mad and annoyed that this quote was telling me to do something that I felt was impossible? Or was I mad because I knew it was possible, but I couldn’t get there?

Sometimes, it’s so hard to find that silver lining in the tarnish of life. It get so dirty and dingy and messy that we get jaded and tired and blase about what life is really about--joy.

We’re here to work hard and go through trials and tribulations and make mistakes, but we’re also here to love deeply and laugh hard and smile. We’re here to build relationships and do random acts of kindness and take trips. We’re here to cuddle and wonder and believe in something bigger than ourselves. We’re here to be joyful. We’re here to be happy.

We have friends and moms and dad and husbands and wives and children and coworkers and church members and teammates who are there to help us be happy. We have cute little pups named Miles. We have outlets to write, play music, make art, and express ourselves. We have freshly-brewed coffee and sales at J.Crew and new episodes of House of Cards. We have giant walls filled with purple flowers. Little or small. We have glimpses of joy everywhere.

So yeah, life can get pretty rough. I’m not dismissing that at all. I have seen so much pain. Not just in my own life but in the lives of those close to me--and even when their lives were in the darkest of places, they still chose joy. They still chose to smile and laugh and trust in others.

So why can’t I do the same? Some days are going to be easier than others, but finding one little glimmer of happiness in a less-than-perfect day is still something to be proud of. We need to choose joy. And keep choosing it. Every single day.