With the symbol of infinity in your mind’s eye, consider the relationship between joy and gratitude. The more gratitude, the more joy. The more joy, the more gratitude. They flow together, blend together, dance together, play together. Maya Angelou got it right. “A joyful spirit is evidence of a grateful heart.”
How easy it is to dwell on the negative! How natural it is to focus on what’s wrong rather than what’s right! Imagine the infinity symbol again—the less grateful we are for what we have, the less joy we manifest. Am I right?
My beautiful mother, God rest her soul, struggled with depression and low self-esteem. She never seemed to “own” her unique purpose for being on this earth or appreciate her myriad gifts and talents. Instead, she saw the world through the lens of what she didn’t have. The more she complained, the less joy she had. The less joy she had, the more she complained.
Don’t we all have a tendency to do the same thing? The term “pity party” comes to mind. If we’re to fulfill our life’s purpose with joy and gratitude, however, we must break free from the wicked cycle of “stinkin’ thinkin’.”
In the apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he says, “….whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. … And the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil. 3: 8-9) I don’t know about you, but I definitely experience shifts in my thinking whenever I count my blessings…whenever I look around and see the beauty that surrounds me. Cheerful smiles. Glorious sunsets. Children at play.
Mindset is key. How do you maintain a joyful spirit? Do you?
Joyfully (most of the time),
Photo by Flickr (Andrew Syiek)