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What If We All Focused on Giving and Receiving Joy?

 

Right now, it seems like all the forces are focused on bringing anger to the world. Imagine if each of us, instead of worrying about what others are doing wrong, spent all that energy focused on bringing Joy to others. Imagine, when someone tries to bring joy to us, we are able to actually accept it.

It is easier to focus on what is wrong. It is easier to hate another, and to be honest, to hate what we don’t like about ourselves. Our brains look for what is going off, so we can protect. But if we charge around in protection mode all the time, we are not doing more than just staying alive. It is not living and thriving.

I am going to try to focus on giving Joy and Receiving it more. I need God to help me on this one.

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There are 41 comments.

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  1. Contributor

    Count me in! (Although it’s probably easier for me than some.) And I’ll be rooting for you, Bryan!

    • #1
    • August 10, 2018 at 7:25 am
    • 6 likes
  2. Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Post author

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Count me in! (Although it’s probably easier for me than some.) And I’ll be rooting for you, Bryan!

    Thank you. 

    • #2
    • August 10, 2018 at 7:26 am
    • Like
  3. Member

    … the joy of the LORD is your strength.

    Nehemiah 8:10

    • #3
    • August 10, 2018 at 8:52 am
    • 2 likes
  4. Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Post author

    JoelB (View Comment):

    … the joy of the LORD is your strength.

    Nehemiah 8:10

    INdeed!

    • #4
    • August 10, 2018 at 9:07 am
    • 1 like
  5. Contributor

    Agreed, @bryangstephens.

    Anger is easy; joy is hard, but worth the effort. Better that we all choose joy.

     

    • #5
    • August 10, 2018 at 9:10 am
    • 8 likes
  6. Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Post author

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen (View Comment):

    Agreed, @bryangstephens.

    Anger is easy; joy is hard, but worth the effort. Better that we all choose joy.

     

    Anger gets in the way in both directions. 

    It is amazing the gifts from others I have ignored because I was angry. Looking back, so many lost opportunities. There will be more in the future, but I hope the ratio is better in favor of Joy.

    • #6
    • August 10, 2018 at 9:12 am
    • 6 likes
  7. Member

    I have a whole section on that:

    Joy
    Commitment
    Freedom
    Gift Giving
    Grow
    Happiness
    I Am That I Am
    Irresistible
    Life without End
    Proceed
    Service
    Sharing Joy
    Thankful
    Unlimited

     

    • #7
    • August 10, 2018 at 12:34 pm
    • 5 likes
  8. Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I have a whole section on that:

    Joy

    Commitment
    Freedom
    Gift Giving
    Grow
    Happiness
    I Am That I Am
    Irresistible
    Life without End
    Proceed
    Service
    Sharing Joy
    Thankful
    Unlimited

     

    Thank you for sharing

    • #8
    • August 10, 2018 at 12:39 pm
    • 1 like
  9. Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Thank you for sharing

    I have to take breaks from writing those, because it seems like I am saying the same things over and over. “We choose our thoughts, and we can choose joy.” (Isaac, by the way, means “joy,” and his father thought he had to sacrifice his Joy to worship G-d, but found to his relief that his joy was spared.) But no matter how many times or in how many ways we say it, there are still people who have not heard it or who cannot hear it, so on to the next way of saying it.

    • #9
    • August 10, 2018 at 12:47 pm
    • 4 likes
  10. Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Thank you for sharing

    I have to take breaks from writing those, because it seems like I am saying the same things over and over. “We choose our thoughts, and we can choose joy.” (Isaac, by the way, means “joy,” and his father thought he had to sacrifice his Joy to worship G-d, but found to his relief that his joy was spared.) But no matter how many times or in how many ways we say it, there are still people who have not heard it or who cannot hear it, so on to the next way of saying it.

    No matter how many times I hear it, I still have not heard it. I am Israel in the wilderness, worshiping the golden calf, regardless of all the great things God has done for me. The reminders have to be constant. 

    • #10
    • August 10, 2018 at 12:51 pm
    • 5 likes
  11. Contributor

    One of the things I do is when I have quiet moments, I reflect on what is making me happy right then. It might be a cardinal flying by, the basil growing on the lanai, sharing laughter with a friend, seeing a beautiful picture. Sometimes I reflect on general things, like my blessings–husband, home, a particular friend, a word of support, a funny comment on a post, knitting a row without mistakes! Joy also can’t be sustained (I think) but it’s like building up one’s muscles–it’s strength and frequency depend on repetition. I find myself reflecting on joy more and more often, and it comes so many times from little things. You just need to build up your joy muscles! ;-)

    Edit: Some people like journals. Make a “joy journal” where you make a brief note to yourself on something that gives you joy. That builds joy muscles, too!

    • #11
    • August 10, 2018 at 1:04 pm
    • 5 likes
  12. Member

    Define Joy.

    • #12
    • August 10, 2018 at 1:20 pm
    • 1 like
  13. Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    One of the things I do is when I have quiet moments, I reflect on what is making me happy right then.

    But you had to train yourself to do it. You have to create the habit. That is the hard part for so many people. It’s hard work to make happy a habit, but it’s worth it.

    • #13
    • August 10, 2018 at 1:20 pm
    • 2 likes
  14. Contributor

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Define Joy.

    For me, it’s a sense of well-being, peace, satisfaction, and even a love for life. Best I can do. You can look it up, too, Henry.

    • #14
    • August 10, 2018 at 1:24 pm
    • 1 like
  15. Contributor

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    One of the things I do is when I have quiet moments, I reflect on what is making me happy right then.

    But you had to train yourself to do it. You have to create the habit. That is the hard part for so many people. It’s hard work to make happy a habit, but it’s worth it.

    That’s why the journal works for some people. You keep it nearby–on your work desk, in your brief case, by your favorite chair, and when you see it, you write in it.

    • #15
    • August 10, 2018 at 1:25 pm
    • 2 likes
  16. Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Post author

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Define Joy.

    Great question. 

    I am defining Joy as deeper feeling that happiness. It requires gratitude for what has been, what is, and what will be. Joy transcends the feelings of the moment, and it is the song in one’s soul. Joy requires meaning. Joy is hard to maintain against the ups and downs of life. We need to seek it out. 

    We give Joy to others when we feed that. We accept Joy from others when we are able to receive it. Small acts of kindness can support Joy in the world. 

    I know this is all a poor reflection of what I am trying to get across. 

    • #16
    • August 10, 2018 at 1:27 pm
    • 3 likes
  17. Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Define Joy.

    It bubbles up in laughter to burst and spray the room, contagiously crawling in the crevasses of our serious armor.

    • #17
    • August 10, 2018 at 1:27 pm
    • 3 likes
  18. Moderator

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Define Joy.

    It bubbles up in laughter to burst and spray the room, contagiously crawlingin the crevasses of our serious armor.

    In other words, sort of a cross between an explosion and being swarmed by ants ;-P

    • #18
    • August 10, 2018 at 1:50 pm
    • 6 likes
  19. Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):
    In other words, sort of a cross between an explosion and being swarmed by ants

    That’s the stuff.

    • #19
    • August 10, 2018 at 3:11 pm
    • Like
  20. Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Henry Castaigne  

    Define Joy.

    Henry, many years ago when I was teaching a teenage Sunday School class a discussion of the difference between happiness and joy came up. One young man said, “I think happiness is something that comes from outside things, but joy comes from inside you.” I still think that was pretty profound. In other words, I don’t have to be happy, but I can choose to be joyful.

    • #20
    • August 10, 2018 at 4:23 pm
    • 6 likes
  21. Member

    With regard to anger, I would be hard pressed to remember a time when I have not regretted giving way to anger. I have never regretted being joyful.

    • #21
    • August 10, 2018 at 4:25 pm
    • 4 likes
  22. Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Post author

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    With regard to anger, I would be hard pressed to remember a time when I have not regretted giving way to anger. I have never regretted being joyful.

    Ditto on Anger

    • #22
    • August 10, 2018 at 4:30 pm
    • 1 like
  23. Member

    Freude, schoner gotterfunken, umlauts are too hard to type.

    • #23
    • August 10, 2018 at 4:39 pm
    • 3 likes
  24. Member

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Freude, schoner gotterfunken, umlauts are too hard to type.

    ö ü

    • #24
    • August 10, 2018 at 4:41 pm
    • 2 likes
  25. Thatcher

    Wisdom, Bryan! How about “Count it all joy…”. James 1:2-3ff

    • #25
    • August 10, 2018 at 4:41 pm
    • 2 likes
  26. Member

    Or, you could just use the form with the “e” inserted after the letter.

    • #26
    • August 10, 2018 at 4:42 pm
    • 3 likes
  27. Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Post author

    Nanda Golightly (View Comment):

    Wisdom, Bryan! How about “Count it all joy…”. James 1:2-3ff?

    Thank you

    • #27
    • August 10, 2018 at 5:45 pm
    • 1 like
  28. Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Thank you for sharing

    I have to take breaks from writing those, because it seems like I am saying the same things over and over. “We choose our thoughts, and we can choose joy.” (Isaac, by the way, means “joy,” and his father thought he had to sacrifice his Joy to worship G-d, but found to his relief that his joy was spared.) But no matter how many times or in how many ways we say it, there are still people who have not heard it or who cannot hear it, so on to the next way of saying it.

    Isaac doesn’t mean joy, does it? I’ve always been taught it meant laughter, and skeptical laughter at that.

    • #28
    • August 11, 2018 at 9:35 am
    • 1 like
  29. Member

    Isaac

    • #29
    • August 11, 2018 at 10:14 am
    • 1 like
  30. Member

    • #30
    • August 11, 2018 at 11:24 am
    • 6 likes
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