Have you ever been perusing Facebook or any form of social media and seen a quote or meme that made you ponder? Well, that happened to me this week. I saw this pic, and my mind immediately started pondering its truth or version of the truth. Let me begin with the realization that I agree that we shouldn’t expect another person to make us happy. That’s too big of a weight for anyone to bear. But….it makes me think of the difference between happiness and joy. Happiness depends on the moment while joy is within.
I mean another person can add to your momentary happiness. They can also steal your happiness for the moment by their action or lack thereof. It’s true. Can’t deny it.
However, even when I’m not super-happy, I still have joy. There’s a difference! My joy won’t come from a person…it comes from my faith. Even on not-so-hot-days…I can find my joy as I find my peace that surpasses understanding. Do I have bad days? Of course, but I will choose to find the positive even on the worst of days.
Now, I confess that I’m blessed with a career that I thoroughly enjoy. Granted, I have bad days. There are moments, hours, and sometimes a whole day when things don’t go well or as planned. In fact, in the 25 classes I’ve been “the teacher” to, there have been a handful of years where there have been more challenges than smooth days. Yet, even during those challenging years, I will choose to look for the joy.
A friend of mine works on the line of a manufacturing company. There have been many times this summer when his day hasn’t gone well. As I attempt to cheer him up, I encourage him to find one or two positives. Sometimes, the only positive of the day is getting out of bed and leaving work. It’s a start! Find the positive. If you look hard enough, you can find one…or many.
I’ve had those days. I’ve had days when the positives of the day are the buses have departed, there are no negative messages to reply to, and I get to rest during the evening. Regardless, it’s a positive. It’s a way to find the good in a bad day.
Years ago…almost a couple decades, I supervised my first student teacher. It was during one of my most challenging years. My student teacher was energetic and perky. The group was challenging. In fact, the group was challenging enough that the administrators told me I needed to stay in the classroom rather than allowing her to experience “full control” with me being gone. Why? Each time I left, chaos happened or someone would get bullied or hurt. After one particularly trying day, we walked back into the building after taking our class to the buses and her face had fallen. Near tears, she said, “I just don’t know what to do.” Knowing that she and I shared the same faith beliefs, I simply said, “You shake it off, come up with a new strategy to try tomorrow, but you NEVER let your job steal your joy.” Several years later, I had the same chat with a different student teacher. You see, I love my job, but not all years are happy positive experiences. Some are challenging and problematic. Both can be reasons for joy….because when that challenging class has a good day….it’s like the Hallelujah Chorus is playing in my heart. I kid you not….and it’s always on key!
So…I write all of this to remind you of a few things…
- Don’t let circumstances steal your joy! My joy comes from the Lord.
- Always….ALWAYS look for the positive. No matter how small. Maybe someone smiled at you. Woohoo! Maybe a friend sent you a message or gif to remind you that you were in their thoughts that day. Woohoo! Find the positive. It’s there….you just have to look for it.
- Finally….remember not to look at your glass half empty. Try to see it half full. If you can’t see it half full, then….just be thankful you have a glass!
Call me Pollyanna…call me naive, but I am the daughter of the King of Kings. So, I will find the sparkle on a gloomy day. I will be thankful for my glass…or my cup. And for today…my cup runneth over!