I was talking with someone the other day who said, “I just want to be happy!” And I can certainly relate – who doesn’t want to be happy? I’m not sure any of us wakes up in the morning saying to ourselves, “Oh now this would be a great day to be miserable – or at least unhappy!”
The problem with this very common lament is that it is most often founded on the circumstances we find ourselves in. “I could be happy if only…” – you fill in the blank. And we find ourselves running from one thing to the next in pursuit of the elusive feeling of happy! Occasionally we even grasp hold of it for a few fleeting moments – only to find it slip through our fingers like water through a sieve when something comes along to disturb our feeling of happiness. And so we spin onto the next thing – because that feeling of happiness is like a drug. It addicts us to a lie.
But there is a power within each of us that will overcome circumstances, turn them to our favor and make contentment and happiness a constant companion. This is the power of joy. Joy is not a feeling – it is a decision. It transforms my thinking from, “When will this all end and I can be happy again?” to “I WILL take control of my thoughts, my words and my actions, knowing that I have the ability to create a space of peace and hope and transformation!” The seed of joy is in every human spirit. Nurture that seed. Allow it to grow up. It will transform you and change your circumstances.
At our daycare center, you will often hear the phrase, “Choose joy!” My daughter in law, Samantha, was the first one to coin it here and now it is a mantra that fills hearts with hope and contentment in the midst of any circumstances! It lends a word of encouragement instead of a word of commiseration. It offers a hand of help. And when a hand of help grasps a hand needing help, both hands are stronger!
Do not allow your situation to steal your happiness! Take JOY and be utterly transformed!

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