I started out with some soul-searching. Then I read some of the things I had earlier written about JOY. One thing jumped out at me because it rang so true in my heart:
JOY is laughter. It is contagious and highly infectious.
I did a little dance because it seemed like the perfect definition of JOY to me.
I am a Joy Strategist. Moms (and others) work with me to bring more cheerfulness, more joy into their lives. That JOY takes all different forms, but I know it isn’t just what others see, the outward appearance of JOY. It is what springs from inside the person spreading JOY.
At that point, I realized my definition was lacking. I needed to dig deeper. What exactly is infecting people? What is JOY?
I turned back to myself. When I pushed past the laughter, I realized JOY was created in my outlook. JOY was a choice. I chose how I responded to my environment.
Do I choose to put on the glasses that see the silver lining or the ones that highlight the storm clouds?
Do I choose to speak from a place of love or let venom drip from my lips?
Do I choose to move forward fearlessly or sit and worry anxiously?
JOY is not all lollipops, rose petals, and happy pills.
JOY is also in the way I discipline of myself and those whom I am charged to groom. The JOY is not in the immediate discipline, but in the long-term value that discipline provides.
JOY is in the knowing, striving, and being.
There is equally JOY in triumph, love, and sadness.
JOY is everywhere!
Orient yourself towards it.
If you and I were to run into each other somewhere. Perhaps we would see each other at a café, grocery store, or playground. If you came up and asked me how I defined JOY, I would say:
To me, contagious and highly infectious laughter is an outward sign that the love of God has filled me with so much JOY that I have to plenty to share. As the old folks say, my cup runneth over.
When I run low on JOY, it means I need to change my response to my environment. JOY is all around me. Sometimes, I overlook it.
Have you overlooked JOY, too? Change your glasses, speak from love, and move forward fearlessly into the flow of love. May your cup run over and manifest as JOY.
I am looking forward to your thoughts on my definition of JOY. Don’t forget to also share your definition of JOY in the comments.