(Where’s) Wear your joy

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do. Ecclesiastes 9:7

thJoy

Lucinda Williams

I don’t want you anymore
cause you took my joy
I don’t want you anymore
you took my joy

you took my joy
I want it back
you took my joy
I want it back

Over two years ago, when the relationship that I had for 21 years started to peel apart like old asbestos-laden paint (hear a tad of anger in that statement), lip-syncing Lucinda’s words loud when I was alone in my car was one of the most healing cathartic tools. It is a rough song with rough lyrics. And the Yankee rebel in me, my alter ego, just had to, short of shooting a gun, had to have rough. Rough never felt so good.

Man, justified anger can beat out a scoop of thick and creamy vanilla ice cream any day. The truth, of course, is no one or nothing can rob you of your joy. I know that. Victim, however, is such a nice unaccountable spot to park yourself in. When you are a victim, you don’t take responsibility. The world revolves around your bellybutton, and there is great safety in living a couch potato status where the greatest question of the day is, “What TV channel should I turn on?”

Okay, so there I was with the bag of chips…a head full of woes and an earful of Lucinda’s blasting lyrics. After a while, I knew I had to put, like someone told me, my big-girl panties on. Sitting around feeling sorry for myself can be a dangerous place. So I discarded the chips, shut the head-knocking lyrics off and flicked my living switch on.

How do you find joy in the midst of heartbreak and crisis? First, you have to know that it is not a rare commodity. Every living being possesses it organically.

Oprah Winfrey said it best, “Joy is a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace—a connection to what matters.”

joyoftheLordTo me peace and well-being are synonymous with faith. In other words, God lives in me. I just have to want that state of God being. Anything we want in our lives starts with, duh, desire.

My God, fortunately, has a sense of humor that is contagious. Humor inspires me. Humor saves me. When all else fails, being able to see the humor in everything sustains me. It is my joy. Even during the darkest moments, I share a joke with a friend and, suddenly, my gust of laughter is like a breath of life; it sustains me.  Laughter gives me faith like nothing else, saying, “I am your oxygen, and I will see to it that your organs not only survive, but thrive ‘cause I’m going to tickle them pink!”

Every day, I make a very conscientious decision to take back my life. It’s not easy to wear the big-girl panties, but when I do, it’s so worth it. Every now and then, I slip back to the stinking thinking that someone or something took my joy away, and that’s okay. These days, I have a drawer packed with an assortment of big-girl panties to choose from, so my flimsy excuses not to have joy—even in the eye of crisis—cannot breach a carefully selected pair of briefs.

Until next time….Faith forward!

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4 thoughts on “(Where’s) Wear your joy

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