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Should We Choose Joy . . . .

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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

. . . when the world is in such a mess?

That's one of the questions I've been thinking about, in reaction to more comments on yesterday's blog: still considering what it is we would want to be expert at.

There are real problems in the world at the moment -- universal problems. Economic, political, social. In so many different ways exacerbated by the pandemic.

And for so many of us, there's so little we can do to make any of these big problems better. Other than practice kindness towards others when we have the opportunity.

Our part is the distinctly unheroic part on the sidelines. Sanitizing, masking, social distancing. That's what we can do. All we can do. As we wait patiently for our turn to be vaccinated.

And while we wait on the sidelines? There's no value for anybody in remaining in a stage of agitation. Fear, stress, pressure, discouragement.

It seems to me that one of the best ways of honouring the work of those in the "front lines" , who are heroically doing what they can to sustain life, is to live life. To let life live us. To permit ourselves to be surprised by the persistence of joy, even in tough times.

Do we want to focus all of our attention and time on misery? To become experts at misery?

Or do we want to focus our attention and time on what makes life worth living? In gratitude.

To feel the haven of our homes.

To see the delicate tracery of snow, fiercely blown into the bark of the birch trees.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I try to show kindness to everyone I come in contact with. I sometimes have difficulties doing that but I continue to strive towards that goal. You never know what kind of cross people are carrying and it just is not worth getting upset over.
    72 days ago
    Every little positive thing is a blessing, and every blessing is a joy.
    72 days ago
    We ... can do it :) emoticon
    72 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    I agree, we mustn't live our lives in misery, feeling angry, hostile, agitated. It certainly won't help the situation or help the pandemic to be over sooner. I choose joy every day as I get up and live my life. As I help others and I hope that the vaccine will be available to everyone as soon as possible. I know that Texas lifted their mask mandate and I was thinking how weird that would be to go out, go to work, go to the grocery store without a mask. We are all much healthier right now because we all have masks on. No colds, very few cases of the flu, and staying safe from covid. Masks save lives. I plan on keeping mine on for months to come. I truly feel like it is such a small thing in life all thing considered. Thank you for reminding us that we can still find joy regardless of what is going on. Joy will get us through this!
    72 days ago
    Choosing joy is the only answer. I enjoyed my sunny -4 C (25 F) walk in the park listening to what few birds were around. The hawk probably had something to do with their quietness as the merlin was continuously screeching.

    73 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    Yes, I choose joy! (with repeated reminders)
    73 days ago
    There is joy in doing our part.
    Stay safe, stay well.
    73 days ago
    Yes, I choose joy! Now, I need to go back and read your last blogs. I will do that, but no matter what they say and the comments I know I choose joy.

    Of course, I know I am very privileged, being totally vaccinated and back to doing many of the things I love. And to top it off the weather here right at this moment is gloriously beautiful. So I am living masked and social distanced, but out there, not afraid of getting sick. Feeling very lucky, very blessed, I am filled with joy!
    73 days ago
    I am choosing joy. As the sun is out and it has hit 48 Deg. F I had better get my trainers on and enjoy that sun!
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    73 days ago
    Allowing ourselves to feel that joy is akin to remembering to love ourselves. Just as we can't give love if we don't feel it for ourselves, we can't spread joy if we don't feel it in our hearts.

    73 days ago
    WE can find joy in so many things. Getting up in the morning walking around without help. I cant do many types of housework but what I am able to its enough for me
    73 days ago
    We can most definitely choose how to feel and how to view the world - most of the time.

    If we are able to find something - anything - that makes us feel good, makes us laugh, then we should go ahead and enJOY it!

    And we should be grateful that we are able to do just that.

    (Your blogs have once again spurred my own thinking - and a response to you turns into a blog of my own,)

    73 days ago
  • NANCY-
    During tough times joy may not be available, but being grateful always is.
    Middle son was an infant facing surgery. I was grateful he had a diagnosis. The three other children in his room did not have a diagnosis, so could not be treated.
    Perspective is everything.
    73 days ago
    Amen! We need to do our part, to keep joy in the lives of not just ourselves, but one another. We need to exercise our creativity to support one another safely!

    Even in the midst of grief, there is a place for laughter and happy memories. I remember laughing at my grandmother's funeral and being mortified thinking of what others might think. It was my first experience with funerals. As I learned more of human feelings and reactions, I have come to realize that it's all part of the process.

    But one huge lesson is recognizing that we can never experience someone else's life and feelings for them. Just as my gaining weight will not help someone else lose weight... my depriving myself of joy will not make their pain less. My being kind and taking a moment to say a word of comfort might help, though.

    emoticon emoticon
    73 days ago
    73 days ago
    We drive toward what we are looking at, so I try to look at things that will provide more feelings of peace. Have a wonderful day.
    73 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    I totally agree with you. I'm going to quote that I have read many times on JEANKNEE's blogs:

    "Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing joy everyday." ~Henri J. M. Nouwen.

    The first time I read this on her blog, I thought to myself that is so true and at that particular moment made a decision that I would also join Jeankee to choose joy. Life is what you make it and so I choose to be joyful, thankful, and grateful. In my book I think that is a life well lived.
    73 days ago
    As noted in LeanJean's blog the other day; One positive thought at the start of the day can change your whole outlook on life. I am using that as my morning mantra. I get to call back to the vaccine scheduler today to make my first shot appointment! Color me excited!!!!
    73 days ago
  • no profile photo INCH_BY_INCH
    emoticon emoticon
    73 days ago
    Find joy where ever you are.
    73 days ago
    Choosing joy, especially right now, shows those who have sacrificed so much for our health and safety that their work is appreciated.
    73 days ago
    Of course, JOY!
    73 days ago
    73 days ago
  • SUNSET09
    Into each life, some rain emoticon must fall emoticon . For everything there is a season, and beautiful is reflected in each one. Walk in and through your season. emoticon I choose joy emoticon in the mist of it all. emoticon
    73 days ago
    I was almost shocked that you asked that question but deeply relieved at your choice of answer. Do you think joy is some selfish thing? some act of greed? Some taking more than your share while leaving someone without? Are you fulfilled and glad when you see people choosing misery? I have two beloved family members with diagnosed mental illness and a part of the manifestation of that MI is their constant embracing of misery. They are both terribly unhappy. But that's not all they are/do. The pain it causes me is real and it leaves me helpless. So their choice of misery, albeit perhaps beyond their control, doesn't just hurt them.

    While nobody I know who chooses joy causes me pain.
    73 days ago
    Not sure about the fiercely blown bit at the moment, lol but yes "be like a sunflower and turn your face towards the sun!" emoticon
    73 days ago
    You can always find joy in something no matter what a messy world we live in now. It's a joy to just wake up in the morning 👌. Be well and safe and keep the faith 🙏
    73 days ago
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