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The Irony of Joy

Good happens. For some of us, this is such a simple statement. For others, we have difficulty believing in it. Our moments of good have been so rare or fleeting, that good is as real as the Tooth Fairy. Here's the thing, good is about perspective. What may be seen as bad in the present can be seen for its good in the future. I remember when I was placed on academic suspension for not maintaining a B average in grad school. That was one of the worst moments in my life at the time. In hindsight, it was truly a good thing, because having to walk away from that, and figure out my next, led me to a career I love and couldn't imagine leaving. This is true for most of the hard moments in my life. Those times created opportunities for better. They developed something in me that would not be there had I not gone through. If nothing else, the hard times have made me more empathetic towards others who are experiencing their own hard moments.

Happiness is temporary. Someone once said that happiness is based on what happens to you. Happiness is an emotion, just like anger, sadness, and frustration. And like these, happiness lasts for a period of time. You can be happy because someone gave you a gift, and in the very next moment be hurt because the gift seems disingenuous. You may be happy you have a new job, and become frustrated by the demands of the position. Happiness is fleeting, and will come and go according to what life brings us.

Joy comes from within. It is more permanent than happiness. The feeling is much deeper. Joy is a state of mind. What we feel in our soul. What we experience in our heart. Joy is the antithesis of hopeless. Hopelessness is feeling as if nothing good will ever happen again, and that there is nothing left in which to have faith or belief; despair. The irony of joy is that it is not determined by current circumstance. Rather, joy occurs despite my situation, be it good or bad. Joy is a belief that regardless of my current circumstance good will happen. Joy is also the understanding that when good is occurring, live in it and cherish it, so it can be remembered in the future. Joy is a byproduct of knowing life goes in cycles and seasons, so know matter where I am in life, I will be okay. Even more so, I will be better because of the fullness of my experiences.

(C) 2020 The Hope Pusher, LLC | Dr. TJ Jackson

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