Call me evil – that’s ok because I DO wish this on my worst enemy and I even wish this on those I love the most – I wish it for you and I don’t even know you!
I dare you to read past what you’ll feel is a self-pity trip, through the depressing impressions and read this whole post to figure out just what it has to do with joy.
Sorry if it offends you but sometimes I do. Sometimes I do wish that the people that say Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue are not real illnesses can live a few days in my body. I even wish my wonderfully loving husband and kids would spend a few hours in this skin. At some point and time I’ve wished this on everyone except my beautiful 14 month old grandson…. So far.
I wish you could wake up with your legs and back so stiff that it is agonizing at times to get out of bed. I wish you could feel the humiliation of having to yell out to your 19 year old son because you need help walking to the bathroom. I wish your thoughts would be so clouded and jumbled that you can’t understand the words spoken to you or the words you want to speak. I wish you could sit perfectly still while stabbing pain rages randomly throughout your body like exploding fireworks, each blast in a different place.
I wish you could walk your sweet baby through the mall and have people laugh or point and comment because he was born without eyes or a sealed palate. I wish you could sit in your high school English class while the other students make fun of you, slap you, or call you embarrassing names until you slump into total humiliation. I wish you could sit in your closet, door closed tight, while you listen to your dad scream at your mom in a drunken rage and all the while praying he doesn’t come through your door again. I wish you could drive your minivan to a grocery store fifteen miles away so your kids aren’t embarrassed as you hand the cashier food stamps.
I wish you could look at that filthy glass of dirty water that you have no choice but to give your child to drink, knowing full well it might kill them. I wish you could pack your kids up and what few belongings you can carry and walk miles on end in search of safety and freedom that you’ll take, even though it means living under a single tarp held up with four poles. I wish you could gather with others in a dark basement with only a few cherished pages left of your bible and quietly pray and worship for fear you’ll be caught and beat and imprisoned.
I wish you could live under any circumstance that you’ve failed to open your eyes and see. Put your feet in the shoes of another who can’t even lift their face up because life has smacked it one too many times.
Why? Because there is always someone worse than you. Run with me on this thought for a second – there has to be that one person on this earth who is actually worse off than any other human. Isn’t that true? It has to be. There is one meager soul who sits at the bottom. But guess what; it ain’t you! I know that for a fact because you’re reading this, you’ve been blessed with the ability to read and understand print. In one way or another you have access to the internet when some haven’t even had the fortune to hit the power button on a computer. Yep, it ain’t you!
I think a lot of people are running pretty low on the compassion meter in general. Go ahead and say you’re not like the others. But you are. At times. We all are. Me included, among the worst offenders at times.
I’m on a year long study of joy right now and I’ve come to realize that joy increases right alongside with your increase in compassion. Compassion isn’t pity; it isn’t feeling sorry for someone and offering a smile as you walk by. Compassion is acknowledging someone else’s difficult or even horrific situation, and seeing if you can help even if the help comes in the form of your heartfelt prayers.
Compassion is a forerunner of gratitude. How can you not be thankful after seeing the plight of the less fortunate? Gratitude leading right to joy.
Step one in living a life of joy; live gratitude. This may seem too trivial and you may be thinking I’m nuts by now; but if you can’t see the many things in your life that are gifts, blessings, treasures around you, I don’t see how you can live out a joy-filled life. If your eyes are closed to the apparent good a deep-seated joy can’t begin to grow. Going further; if you think about it, there should also be gratitude in our hearts because of things we don’t have or haven’t experienced. I haven’t had to experience the loss of a child or our home burning down – I personally know others that have – I am grateful for those that I haven’t had as well.
If you need a little help getting started as you search for bits of your day for which to be grateful I had previous mentioned author by Ann Voskamp; on her web site she offers pages you can print with daily prompts of things to look for and see the little things you normally might miss in your busy life; things that are worth a moment of heartfelt gratitude.
So go ahead and enjoy your day – search for the things you are truly grateful for – and enJOY your day!