The truth is, I never imagined life would be as hard as it is….even when it is not. I know, that the joy I find in life has very little to do with circumstances and very much to do with the focus of my gaze. I can be absolutely paralyzed when I look sideways, at you, at your hardships, complaints, the wars or rumours of war. I can be absolutely irritated by the mess in my home, the dog that won’t stop barking, the laundry that will not fold itself, the bills that roll in…and on. Even when the troubles are much more complex WE ALWAYS HAVE THE CHOICE OF WHERE WE FIX OUR GAZE.
My son he spends almost every waking minute laying under our Christmas tree, looking up and sighing about how beautiful it is, spellbound by the beauty. The way the tacky coloured lights twinkle. You must understand…it is the ugliest tree we have ever had. There are no branches for the first three feet and then it stands, crooked and broad and sheds needles recklessly all over the floor I just vacuumed. BUT…if you squint your eyes just so, you can see the reckless beauty in near anything. You can choose to focus your gaze on the blessings or on the lack.
This week, this advent, I will gaze upward, keep my eyes fixed on the now-and-coming hope we have. I will spread joy insidiously, laugh loudly, notice the beauty. I will look for opportunities to bless those that are in the seasons when their eyes are glued to the grief. I will mourn with them trusting that joy comes in the morning. To rejoice every chance I get. To stand back from the ordinary of life and see the extraordinary within it. To pursue love and to dwell in it. To choose gratitude and settle into it. To grab onto hope and not release it. I am going to choose JOY and keep choosing it.
Joy is a function of gratitude, and gratitude is a function of perspective. You only change your life when you begin to change the way you see.
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