Fit for the Soul. That’s the title I gave this wee little baby that I call a blog, just a few years ago. After mulling over today’s possible topic, it was confirmed by our beautiful Lindsay (aka crazycotter sherpawife) that I should write about the one thing I’m passionate about. You know, the one thing for which people constantly ask me to give them the how-to’s. And the one thing that ultimately drives Fit for the Soul.
Or at least, I hope to make that one thing apparent to all of you because without this ONE THING in the center of my blogging, I probably wouldn’t be blogging at all. Well, at least that’s what I think!
So without further ado, today’s topic that I’m fully passionate about is JOY. OH JOY! Where hath thou wandered off?!!! Like I always say, health encompasses not only the physical aspect but the spiritual and inner self. What's the good in having a wonderful and healthy body when our souls are yearning for healing?
As I just mentioned, joy is one of those things that people often ask me about. At first thought I was like, “who am I to talk about joy? I mean, doesn’t that make me look prideful, acting like I got everything together?” But I am reminded that no—I do have the credentials to talk about it because first and foremost, I am God’s beloved child. And no. I don’t have it all together.
Now let’s get started.
7 Ways to Get Your Joy Back
1. Know God’s Infinite Love
There may be wars due to disagreement on politics, power, greed, money, and the list goes on. But the one thing we can all agree on? LOVE. It is undeniably the #1 force driving all humankind to do the things we do. Whether those things be positive or negative, it all comes down to the fact that we simply want love…actually, we need love.
And whenever my patience begins to run short and my joy-tank starts to dry up, I am reminded that God, the creator of all that we see, is the ONE WHO DIED FOR ME SO THAT I CAN KNOW HIM, AND HE LOVES ME INFINITELY. Sure, more often than not I feel unlovable because of my emotions and circumstances, but amazingly enough His love never changes. I may change by the minute, but His love remains the same.
2. Know Your Life Purpose
My belief is that we are always on a search to knowing our purpose and long-term goals in life, because God delights in helping us discover the mysteries that are set before us! It’s supposed to be a joyful experience! However, one of our main struggles seems to be lack of purpose. And more specifically, lack of knowledge of what our purpose is supposed to be.
Whenever I hone into the ONE PURPOSE that I’m living for, and it is to KNOW GOD AND MAKE HIM KNOWN TO OTHERS, I am the happiest person you could ever meet. But did you know? That joy can easily be yours as well. When I’m in my true element and smack dab in the middle of God’s purpose, my joy tank expands just a little more.
3. Let Go of Bitterness
We all have at least a tiny bit of baggage, don’t we? Unfortunately, all the baggage starts at an early age because our friends and family are human as well. They make mistakes! But so do we.
We have got to LET GO OF ALL BITTERNESS AND RESENTMENT! I can’t even begin to tell you how heartbreaking it is to see someone suffer just because he’s holding onto the past. It is both mentally and physically destructive, and going back to the past won’t change a thing in the future. Bitterness is one of those things that can easily go undetected and we need to search our hearts to uncover them—should there be any bitterness left. It truly is a joy thief and the longer we feed that bitter old root, the more it becomes part of our DNA.
Once we become entangled in it we bring all that pain and hurt into our relationships, but then again, let’s not forget that all the suffering we’ve endured makes us who we are! Besides, God can take all the broken pieces and make it into a wonderful work of art so trust Him in the process. I challenge you with this. Seriously.
4. Remember that Joy Does Not Equal Happiness
Happiness is what you feel when you see a pretty flower . Happiness is the fluttery and fuzzy feeling you get when your significant other gives you a hug. Joy is a little different because it’s not merely an emotion. It’s a state of mind (and heart) in which we know that no matter what we’re going through, we will eventually come out victorious. It is almost like the hope that God instills in every single one of us to keep on running this marathon.
Much like peace, joy is one of those things that you hold onto no matter how hard the waves crash on your present situation.
5. Stop Comparing
With social media on the rise, I have to admit that it’s extremely difficult to not strive for perfection! Can anyone else agree with me?
Although society nags at us saying that we should be X, Y, and Z, God tells us that we are perfect and wonderful just as we are. Now, by perfect I mean that He delights in us even when we feel guilty, lost, and unlovable.
Comparison is definitely the thief of joy, and as I type this I am reminded that the ONLY ONE WE SHOULD COMPARE OURSELVES TO IS GOD’S LOVE AND HOLINESS. Now, doesn’t that put things in perspective? Knowing that we all fall short and under the same exact category as one another—that is in God’s shadow--should be comforting…is it not?
Once we are humble enough to be under the shadow of His wings, only then, can we safely say that we can be in His marvelous light.
6. Give Yourself Away
Knowing fully well that this life ain’t about me gives me so much courage to give myself to others. When I’m helping someone else in the midst of my hurt and pain, (or less dramatically, my own comfort bubble) I am able to step outside of my own self and see things for what they really are. Thinking of others as higher than myself truly brings me joy, and I definitely need a lot of practice because it’s not something that comes naturally to me, a mere mortal.
7. Don’t Listen to Condemnation
Guilt is a healthy emotion that leads us to conviction to change. On the other hand, condemnation brings us down and snuffs us out like an old man with his cigarette. All of us make mistakes but the great news is that we can be forgiven! I’m afraid that many of us listen to the voice of condemnation without realizing the fact, which ultimately paralyzes us and prevents us from moving forward. This is a true culprit for our lack of joy, my friends.
So let’s take our thoughts captive!
I realize that most of these are all related to God, God, God, and I’m not assuming you agree with me. My hope is that we will be able to connect God’s goodwill for us and all these tidbits of advice! He’s not out to get us like most of us tend to think, and he’s definitely far from being a killjoy.
Our best is always on His mind and THE JOY FACTOR is surprisingly one of them.
Hope these helped! And I really hope we put all these into practice. Remember also that these “big things” aren’t the only ways to have joy, but let’s stop and smell the roses. Let’s take a breather when we feel most overwhelmed and be thankful for the “little things”.
Is there anything else you would add to this list? It can be “spiritually” inclined, or something simple that most people tend to look over.
How has this post changed the way you look at JOY?