A lot of people have asked me in the past “Anna, what’s up with you and the word joy?”
I’m going to be completely honest, I used to want to barf when I heard that word. I thought it was one of those words that people that put up a front & wanted to seem like a good person used. I was skeptical and cynical. & that is totally fine because that is how I chose to live my life!
Whenever my mom said “Ania, choose joy today” I would just roll my eyes, take my coffee, & walk out the door.
The more that I thought about this word, because for some reason it always came up, the more I realized it was so much more than three letters.
There are many interpretations of it like, J. Jesus O. Others Y. Yourself, a word that has to do with Christmastime, a synonym for happy, etc.
n the emotion of great happiness
Simply put, that is what joy means. Happiness, rejoicing, satisfaction, a culmination of all of these things, etc.
I view joy as a choice.
I have realized that to choose joy is the only way to truly feel it.
I know, I’m now one of those sappy people that I used to judge. But this conscious decision that I make everyday effects my life in ways I never thought imaginable.
To choose joy for me is to take any situation I am in and to try & see the good, to try & make the best of a situation, to try and realize that I am given one life, that I will never get this moment back, & that to choose joy in this moment will help me appreciate it for what it is.
It only takes one second, thought, or day to make a conscious decision to change your life.
Easier said than done right?
Well it’s a different way of thinking. You seriously have to completely reinvent how your brain & judgment works.
We live in a world today where it’s more comfortable to judge & complain instead of uplifting & showing gratitude. Instead of focusing on what kind of person the person on the screen is, we focus more on how good they look. Which don’t get me wrong, when I think I look good, I feel UNSTOPPABLE & receiving compliments lifts me up, & I hope you feel that way too! You deserve to feel good about the physical appearance you were given! But receiving a compliment on the person I am over how good I look moves mountains in the long run. Or at least that’s what I believe.
That’s my next point:
From the moment that I made a conscious effort to choose joy, so many opportunities of living an optimal life opened up to me.
I started being so much more grateful for the people in my life, I reminded myself that I am a good person and so are the people around me, even if they are different from me (meaning they think differently than me). I became so much less judgmental, I started empowering myself as well as the people around me because I started seeing the good and powerful people they are. Everyone wants to feel good, & I started believing that I can make an impact on helping that process.
Choosing joy made my life lighter, it made me start caring about my health both physical & mental, it made me appreciate my relationships, & so many more great advancements in my life.
WITH ALL OF THIS BEING SAID!!!
I AM NOT A PERFECT PERSON!
Last night I complained to George about how stressed & scared I am about my job that I got starting in January.
I was cynical and negative.
But do you know the best part about it was?
HE reminded me of all of those things that I try and preach & practice.
He said “I’m really trying to make the best of the situations I’m given”
Me being completely emotional, I shut it out.
After our conversation I realized, I am GIVEN opportunities to choose joy & gratitude.
But I am too STUBBORN sometimes to take those & run with them!!!
No one is perfect, I am far from it, but, I am addicted to trying to live a wholesome & gracious life. Because I am only given ONE.
This is not an easy process to start.
Every day you will be given opportunities to abandon this process.
People around you will tell you that you make them wanna barf (as a joke, obviously)
You will feel judged at first because you used to be one of the people that thought this kind of stuff was sappy.
A lot of things will set you back, but you will make an impact in at least one life that isn’t yours.
This is how I started doing this (& it’s totally okay if you don’t want to do this. I just thought maybe it could help.)
Every morning for over a year now, I make a choice to tell myself “you will be kind, & you will be forgiving”.
There are a lot of ways to choose joy. There are a lot of ways to be gracious.
There are also a lot of ways to not be.
This statement helped me because I was resentful, & I felt as if I was very judgmental & I didn’t want to be that kind of person anymore.
From that statement, all of this sparked in my life.
No one is perfect. But every person has goodness within them.
Thank you for reading this if you made it this far!
& for the people that didn’t, that is completely okay too! You create your own reality and a 22-year-old college kid isn’t an all-knowing guru. Just a person trying to make the best of this one life I’m given!
This is just a blog to act as an outlet for me & if anyone wants to give it a chance & read it, you are more than welcome.
If anyone wants to have a conversation about this or ANYTHING! Reach out!
Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me. – Carol Burnett
Listening to: Optimal Living Podcast
Watching: The Resident
Drinking: coffee, coffee, coffee, and lil bit of H2O
Excited about: reconnecting with an old friend tonight & getting some drinks!
Working on: planning for my upcoming job and student teaching!