“I want to see beauty. In the ugly, in the sink, in the suffering, in the daily, in all the days before I die, the moments before I sleep.” ANN VOSKAMP
To be joyful I think you must be aware. You must have the kind of eyes that catch the small glittering pieces of goodness in a long day and notice the beauty in what many would call insignificant or even ugly. Things like an old couple sitting at Starbucks together or a dad fishing with his kid in the pond at the park. Things like the person singing alone in their car next to you and the smell of the magnolias beginning to bloom.
I believe joy is all around us waiting to be discovered and chosen, but I think it’s often left unnoticed - brushed past in our frantic scurry of a life.
See, happiness is an emotion that bubbles over in laughter and often excitement, but joy is quiet. Like a whisper telling you it's okay to put down your guard now. It’s the thing that exists beneath the surface - beneath happiness or sadness, beneath the little stresses of the day. Joy is the pulsing emotion that tells you, at your core, life is good and everything is going to be okay.
A joyful person is at rest and in tune with themselves and the world around them, and that peace and connected-ness allows them to experience life in even the most mundane.
These are the people that smile doing the laundry because as they fold their babies clothes they dream of the human they will become. They’re the people that can have a real conversation with anyone, because they know there’s always something to learn. They aren’t free of strife, they’re the people that persists in spite of it - that choose to get up and keep going, because they'd rather love life than avoid it.
And, I think this is key. The most joyful people are rarely the ones with the most money or best bodies or largest social media followings - they’re actually often times the ones going through the greatest hardships. The ones that understand life in such a deeper way than the rest of us, because they know how delicate it is. They know joy doesn’t just happens to you, that it doesn’t comes about when all the pieces finally fall into place. They know that Joy is something you must choose...even when the pieces are a mess, scattered all over the floor.
Are you capable of that? Can you choose joy?