I read somewhere that joy is not a gladness based on circumstance. I remember reading it and it took me a minute to process. What a profound statement. Often, when we think of being joyful, it is the consequence of something good that has happened to us. Maybe you got a job promotion, maybe your partner decided to take you out to eat at your favorite restaurant, maybe you bought the pair of shoes you have been eyeing at Nordstrom for the last 6 months. And we relate that euphoric “high” to joy. But joy isn’t based on circumstance. Happiness is.
Hear me out. Happiness can be rocked a little if something goes wrong. Happiness can come in waves. Happiness can be affected by outside forces. JOY though, JOY is a constant. Joy is the quiet confidence that whispers when things get tough – “sis, you got this”. Joy is cultivated. It doesn’t just come to you like happiness does. You have to work hard on being joyous. There is a lot of “heart work” involved. And sometimes is hard work. I hate to break it to you, my girl…. But joy isn’t just going to come to you. It is a mindset shift. And you have to consistently and continuously work on it every day.
I have expressed on my page that I have done a good amount work on myself in the last year and a half. I am not telling you this to be boastful. I am telling you this because the woman I was a year and a half ago would not have the confidence to put herself out there on the internet like I do now. And I am really proud of the work I have done – but girl I have a long way to go. I try to pour into myself with good podcasts and good books. I try to surround myself with good people, and I spend SO much time in prayer. And in doing those things, I have come to find a lot of joy. It made me realize that joy comes from being at peace with who you are. Joy is choosing to accept YOU for YOU. I am telling you friends, you have to tweak how you think. When tough stuff comes up, you have to be so secure in yourself to know that the tough stuff is just a season – and that that season will not steal your joy because you are rooted in joy itself.
I think that is where the phrase “choose joy” comes from. You truly have to choose it. It doesn’t just come to you, you have to choose to work towards joy every day. And DANG what a goal to work towards! And an awesome goal at that!
So I hope today and every day, you choose joy. I hope you are so freakin’ joyous that your joy is completely and utterly contagious! I hope when people are around you, they can feel joy radiating from you. I hope you are so rooted in joy, that no matter the circumstance, good, bad, or ugly, that you protect that joy with everything you’ve got.
Praying for you always!
XO – Kelly