The world seems to be in an uproar lately, more so than usual, with normally even-keeled people becoming seemingly unable to have civil discourse. It’s so easy to get caught up in the drama, in the petty battles that fly all over the Internet. I am finding myself pull away more and more…life is just too short to fal into those traps, the moments too precious to waste on discord. Instead, I want to remind myself where joy lives.
As I walked the streets of Madrid last week, I saw joy everywhere; wide-eyed tourists stopping to stare at beautiful architecture, people talking and laughing as they enjoyed tapas and cold sangria at sidewalk cafes. Lovers walking arm and arm, secret looks filled with the joy of togetherness. I experienced the joy of an incredible young orchestra, playing their hearts out for an enthusiastic audience.
When I returned home, joy was there, too. I saw it in my husband’s sweet brown eyes as he embraced me in welcome, felt it in the furry greeting of my dogs. It was there in the messages of love from friends and family, in the birds I heard singing in chorus, in the bloom that opened just in time for my homecoming.
What I am reminded of, is that joy lives within us. It’s always there, waiting for us to tap into its deep reservoir. It’s so easy to forget joy when we leap into argument and anger. No matter our situation, we can choose to be happy….or not. Bad things will always happen, there will be sadness, heartache, tragedy- but we choose how we will react to the events that happen in our lives. Every single time. It doesn’t mean that every day will be a cakewalk, but going to the well of joy quenches our souls so much more than anger and self-righteousness ever could.
I’m going to remember joy when I turn on my computer, when I see the news of the day- and people’s heated reactions. I’m going to choose to immerse myself in the things that lift me up and make me smile, and I in turn will try to always share things that are uplifting. I’ll be my own little island of joy when I need to be, and there’s always room for more if you want to come along.