Don't give your joy away

Don't give your joy away

“You can never have too much joy.”

—Unknown author

I remember as a kid going to Vacation Bible School and singing in a semicircle around the piano. One of the songs we sang was “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy Down in my Heart.” I know people who sing “Jesus Loves Me” when they are tempted, but for me I remember “I’ve Got the Joy.” It brings me such happiness. I love how so many of the things of my childhood bring me such joy in remembering them.

As a young man, I thought joy was unreachable for me. I was so depressed because of my cerebral palsy. I saw absolutely no hope for me. When we have no hope, it is almost impossible to have joy. The thing about depression is that when we have it, we can’t see past it. I thought I couldn’t help myself because sometimes I just wanted to sit down and cry. Even though depression is an illness, we can help ourselves by helping our attitude. One day I watched a video on YouTube. The speaker was talking about taking steps to help us have a good mental attitude.

I tried what he said. I began to watch uplifting videos in the morning for a month and thought about what they said. It aided in my recovery big time. We can have joy by keeping the positive in front of us. I noticed some of the people I hung out with were bad for me to maintain my good attitude. I didn’t leave them, but I did pull back a lot. Did that make my depression go away? No, but it was more manageable. What goes into our mind can make depression worse or better.

Pay attention to who you let influence you. That is one of the hardest things we can keep track of. From people who work in the public, we hear different opinions about every five minutes. Some of it lifts us up while other things pull us down.

Who do we give time to? Did we listen to the co-worker who makes judgments based on feelings and disregards facts? Do we listen to people who can keep lifting us up? Most of us don’t ever pay any mind to what we dwell on, but it really matters as to what we dwell on.

It can be really difficult, but the more we work on focusing on the good, the more joy we will have.

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