Choose Joy

by Lindsay Howard

You know that voice in your head? The one that dictates how you operate throughout your day? She tells you what to have for breakfast, if the required reading for a class is really required, if you should text him back, or maybe if spending the money on yet another overpriced coffee is truly worth it. She also reminds you that you are perfectly beautiful and wanted. You are so loved and have such purpose on this planet. She reminds you to invest your time and energy into the things that matter to you and to follow your passions.

Though sometimes she tells you that you are not enough. You are not worthy or loved. Your best friends? They pity you. Boyfriend? He only sticks around because he feels obligated. Your dream job? Yeah right, it’s just that — a dream. Sometimes, she tells you lies that feel so close to truth you might just believe them. Suddenly your days are long and bleak, and you see yourself going through the motions but not truly living the life you are so very drawn to. So, what do you do when you feel this way? How can you combat these lies? What might make you feel alive with energy?

Choosing joy. It is the simplest and hardest thing in the world. Joy, as opposed to happiness, comes from a deep place within you, not just on the surface. Happiness can come and go with the changing of the tides. But joy is so much more than that. Those little white lies that tell you that you are not enough can be silenced with the resounding bells of joy. So, how do you do that? Remember that at the end of the day, your life is a good and precious thing. Whatever the circumstance you are facing is, it is temporary. Right in the middle of your storm, search for the goodness in your days. It can be a reminder that at the end of the day this will not last forever. That might be from a really beautiful sunrise or sunset, a sweet text from a friend, or a beautiful flower bush you pass daily on your way to class. These tiny things will make you think twice about your lies. Joy will slowly bring the energy back to your days.

I encourage you to silence the little white lies with truth and with joy. Look for the good in the little things that happen throughout your day. They will bring a smile to your face and if that is the only thing it accomplishes it is still a brief moment of light. Choosing joy is a continuous choice, and I believe you can do it. Here’s the truth: Sometimes life can smack you in the face and that little voice in your head may make your days ten times harder. The dare: Fight back.

Lindsay HowardComment