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I mostly wrote this five years ago this very day, but it seems to ring even more true for the world we are living in this day! The greatest challenge and endeavor in life is to learn the vital lesson of discovering your joy within! With that comes the importance of holding onto that joy peacefully and consistently, no matter the circumstances you are currently experiencing, all while reflecting that contentment as a light back into the world. None of us is immune to hardships, traumas, and problems in life or the catastrophic events beyond our control, but we have shared enough similar woes and life experiences to know that our inner joy is truly not a reflection of what has or will happen to us as much as it is a reflection of our choice as to how and what we feel, think, and believe about these matters! We choose how to summarily view our lives based on how we feel about what has happened to us. If we always cede our joy to feelings of despair, worry, anxiety, sadness, constantly mourning what we’ve lost over time, we erode the sense of joy we are meant to experience just by living! It’s as if we forget that our lives were filled with both happy and sad, ups and downs, laughter and tears. Anchoring our joy within ensures us that we won’t look back upon our lives in misery and despair!

We’re so well-equipped to love, to empathize, to be the face of compassionate caring for others once we have assured all of that for and within ourselves, by recognizing our own ability to keep our peace, joy, and contentment alive within our own soul and spirit! It’s so easy to harden from within with each trauma and every downturn. Soon enough, we have lost our ability to enjoy our own life or to help others enjoy theirs! By instilling in ourselves an indefatigable and rebounding joy within, we make ourselves almost immune to that habit of dwelling in perpetual despair! We may for a time mourn, ache, or hurt, but it need not take our life’s joy for all time! Perhaps we need only shift our focus more to the bright moments, the great times, and the things which we consider blessings, rather than focusing more often on what has grieved us or made us sad. And in just a time, that becomes the new habit!  

Find and hold onto your joy from within by habitually deciding to do just that! And then be a purposeful light for others, assuring them as to what joy, peace, and contentment can be for many who possibly need your leadership in that regard! It takes faith to live as a light, but the Lord sets a great example for us as to why we should! Shine your light for all the world to see, especially during this season of Christmas! You never know who might be inspired and led by your example in turn. There is enough darkness and despair in this world, enough sadness and suffering, reflect for others the way which leads them to their joy and light! And have a joyous season celebrating Christmas!