Updated: Oct 16, 2021
When searching for joy I think many people will recommend that you: "Go to your happy place".
Each person has their own unique happy place. My one and only sister's happy place - without a doubt - is the sea and she often lets me know that she is convinced her birthstone is a seashell. Some people love the mountains, or the bushveld, or the plains, or rivers… the places where people go to find joy are endless.
Find joy within yourself
But what if you can't go to one of these places? How do you find joy then?
Maybe you have a hectic work schedule. Maybe you don't have the finances. Maybe you don't have any leave days left. Maybe you are looking after a loved one that is ill.
The truth is that joy must be found within ourselves. Joy must reside in our hearts.
Have you ever noticed that if you are feeling sad or down about something it lingers in the shadows of your heart? You can go wherever your heart desires but every now and again sadness comes to greet you.
You can't escape it, BUT you have a choice. You can treat sadness as a visitor giving it the attention it came to seek but making sure it doesn't become a permanent resident in your heart. Say hello and say goodbye.
Finding joy within ourselves is a challenge. Especially when things are looking gloomy – very gloomy.
Two guaranteed ways to find joy:
There are two guaranteed ways to experience joy, though some of you may be skeptical about what I am going to say.
Joy can be found in two ways:
1. By loving God
If you love God, you will automatically experience joy because you will know that there is Someone bigger than you, bigger than your problems, bigger than your challenges, and bigger than your faults. Someone that will always be there for you and support you. All you must do is truly love Him – that's all He asks.
By truly loving God you will spontaneously become kinder, gentler, more patient, and positive. Why? Because He will give you the strength and courage to face your problems. You will change for the better.
If you know that a Superpower has you in the palm of His hands, all you can do is be joyful because you know everything is going to work out in the end. You don’t have to rely on yourself for the solution to your problems. You have got the best help to help yourself and others.
2. By loving others
Now this one can be a challenge most of the time. You might be saying: "Ilse you go and give that nasty, aggressive person some love and see if you don't come back scarred and bleeding."
Now I agree that this seems like a tall order. But let me try to explain…Love means treating others with respect. Acknowledging mainly to yourself that if someone is being unkind, it means that somewhere inside, they are bleeding. And it has nothing to do with you – it's what's happening to them at that moment. By thinking to yourself "What pain are you as person going through that makes you want to hurt others?" helps you see things from a different angle.
"By judging others for what we don't have or because we envy them, we sabotage our own lives far more than we ever really hurt anybody else. Many people say that you have to love yourself first before you can love others, but really, if you learn to love others, you will learn to love yourself."
Brianna explains that we must avoid making assumptions about others. We must realize that we don't have the whole picture. We don't know what is being triggered for that person. We don't know what they're thinking, feeling, or experiencing. So, we have to try and be compassionate.
The Take Away:
Loving God brings joy because He can sort out all your problems. Loving others brings joy because your focus has pivoted from self to others.
These two points are about moving away from yourself. Looking outward and up instead of looking inward and feeling down.
If you are really battling to find joy give coaching a try.