I read a recent Facebook post in complete harmony with the many thoughts and unfinished words tap dancing in my head. The post was a reminder to not allow our joy to be hijacked and jaded by outside sources. We have a tendency to view joy and happiness as a synonym and that is just not true.
Commercials, movies and magazines all seek to sell their idea of joy for a profit, of course. We are a society star-struck with Hollywood, reality shows and any get-rich scheme that promises wealth, success and notoriety. It perpetrates an illusion of joy, but nothing is farther from the truth.
I don’t have a psychology degree, but since universities now gift college credits based on life experience, I have more than enough credits in ‘hijacked joy’ to have earned my Master’s degree. So allow me to share the ways, I believe, we circumvent our joy.
Nothing hijacks joy faster than:
- Never taking a break from worries to focus on things we love to do
- Directing attention to what is not right in life instead of all the wonderful moments
- Failure to see joy as a combination of faith, love, and accountability
- Not understanding the difference between joy and happiness
- Living with an expectation that others, not you, are responsible for your joy
I will bet a nickel, you can relate to at least one, or more, of these scenarios.
Joy is something found deep within our heart and spirit; it is what I call the ‘Center of Self’. It is not about fleeting moments of contentment and happiness. True joy sustains us in all the unexpected splashes in the pool of life; how we respond will have a ripple effect on those around us.
Has your joy been hijacked; do you want it back? That process begins by realigning our choices to the true meaning of joy. Here is my RX for joy based on life experience.
- Strip away the expectation of others
- Replace fear with faith
- Pursue your passion
- A grateful heart changes the mindset from negative to positive
- Align your life with your true desires; find your purpose
- Be open to the unexpected
- Remain in the present
- Forgive and let go of grudges
- Focus on what is right in a situation, rather than what is wrong
- Allow Jesus into your life; He is the founder of joy
As you deal with the big splashes and small ripples of life, I pray you find lasting joy. The Lord stands ready to be your strength and fill your RX for joy. He holds a doctorate in ‘hijacked joy’ and longs to consume you with a peace that surpasses human understanding.