Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. – Marianne Williamson
Every now and then (more often that I’d like to admit) my wife has to stop me in the middle of grousing about something and remind me of how good things really are. She takes time to enumerate the things that we have – a great home, two wonderful dogs to share it with, wonderful children and grandchildren who are nearby and most of all each other. She’ right, of course; and it does always work to get me out of whatever funk I’ve wandered into about something that has gone wrong or something that I wish I had but don’t.
One has only to watch the nightly news to see images of those in war-torn countries or starving in Africa to see people who are so much worse off than we are just because we haven’t got whatever the latest and greatest gadget is right now. Right here in America, we have only to look on the streets to see the homeless huddled in doorways or under bridges; yet we are miffed that we don’t have the most stylish pair of winter boots. Grumble, grumble, grouse, grouse. Poor me, look at all the things that I don’t have.
I think it’s important to give ourselves permission to be happy, to experience joy in our lives by recognizing how good things really are for most of us. The fact that we have someplace with access to read these blog posts is a good thing. The fact than most of us are not hungry or cold while doing that is a good thing. The fact that most of us have clothes and shoes on is a good thing. The fact that we woke up this morning is a good thing (more so the older I get). The fact that many of us have family and friends who love us is a good thing. So, take stock of all the good things in your life and allow yourself the joy that comes along with that.
Amazing things happen to those who allow joy to rule their lives. They look happy because they are happy. People want to be their friend because they are happy and people prefer being around happy people. They achieve greater business success, because people prefer to do business with someone who is smiling and happy. They have a better home life, because spouses and children much prefer a happy partner/parent than that grousing old grump that you sometimes can become. So, allow joy in your life. Be happy about what you do have and not grumpy about what you don’t have.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that Joy is a choice and …
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen