My New Year’s resolution is to focus on a little word that I have not been paying a lot of attention to lately as I go about my days. It is not something you can wrap up, or buy, or create. It is something that comes from within, something that is present even in the smallest moments of our lives. If we do not pay attention to it, it can hide tucked away inside of our busy lives and we keep moving forward without stopping to pause, to embrace it, to enjoy it, to feel it and to nurture it. It is in there, even when the days are dark and gloomy. God put it there for all of us for find and enjoy. We just need to stop and recognize it before it passes us by or runs and hides. It is called…
Joy can be defined as a state of mind, and an orientation of the heart. It is also a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. Joy is something that we all strive to obtain and feel in this life. Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good something really is. Joy is something that some people find and recognize more easily than some, who may have a harder time learning to recognize it when comes to their door. Joy is something that we all try to capture in a photo; if even a millisecond long.
Joy can be present in our lives in many ways: whether it be in life’s little delights, like the first taste of a hot cup of coffee in the morning or a sip of a good red wine in the evening, to the wind blowing in your face on a warm summer day. Joy in its very raw and perfect moments, will reveal itself through others, whether it be the hug from a loved one, the feel of your baby’s soft skin, butterfly kisses from a child, a friendly lick from the family pet, the feeling you get when together with those you love, a conversation with a good friend, or a smile from a stranger. Joy can also surface as a glimpse of hope for your future or simply be present when you are doing whatever it is you are passionate about it this life.
JOY can come through your door at any given moment, and JOY can also leave at any given moment, many times without warning. Feel it, recognize it, be open to it, capture it, save it, keep it in your heart and don’t EVER let anyone steal it. You know those people, the joy “stealers”? We all know one or two. I have been guilty of being one in my own family at times and if you are also a mom, you most likely can recall a time in which that were true for you too.
Then there are those people who are good at hiding behind their smile, they may seem filled with joy on the surface, when indeed they have so much pain and hurting deep inside that it has smothered their joy, which is now is buried deep down inside. It is not gone forever, it can surface as long as it is allowed to and they work to move beyond the pain and sorrow to a place where they can embrace joyful moments again.
My resolution and my wish for you is to enjoy the “little” joyful moments in life, keep them tucked in a safe place, share them with others when you can, because one day we will look back and realize that they were the “big” moments.
As a tribute to saying goodbye to 2015, I selected 15 images from this past year in which I could visualize “joy” captured in the moment. It was difficult to decide, but these are the ones that first pulled on my “joy” strings and put me right back to the moment when I clicked the shutter on my camera.
Wishing you many moments of JOY in 2016.