Thursday, October 4, 2012

Choosing Joy!

I think that I've said it before but it bears repeating.  What if everyone you met or encountered in life wore a sign that tells a story about themselves?  Things like: "Just Lost My Job", "Lost a Child",  "New Baby", "Newlywed", "Caretaker", "Overwhelmed!", "Cancer Patient", and so on.  Would you be more understanding if they didn't live up to your expectations of them?  Would you avoid people whose 'story' made you feel uncomfortable or would you make a point to speak with them, offer comfort, compassion?  Makes you think, doesn't it.
But we don't wear signs, not traditional signs anyway.  What we do wear is our emotions, our feelings, our mood.  Whether we are all aware of it or not, our mood is an outward sign to the world about what is going on inside.  We can say with a word or two or sometimes just by a look, 'Come In' or 'Back Off'.  Visible expressions of what we are putting out to the world.  And what we put out we often get in return. 

That is  a difficult lesson to learn and for some, it is we that is never learned.  It is something that I struggle with every day.  Not because my story is an unusual one, but because I wear my emotions on my sleeve.  Anyone who knows me in real life knows that to be true.  I have always been that way and it is something that I might like to change about myself if I could, but it is just a part of who I am.  I am typically a happy, easygoing person.  I like to be happy and try to seek  happiness in life and in others.  Not that I shy away from those who bear a sign that carries with it difficulties or sadness, not at all.  But, I am generally happiy and wearing a smile.  What makes that difficult is that if I am not smiling and outwardly cheerful, people seem to think that something is wrong, that my story has changed.
I tend to let others mood be reflected in my own, giving off a Keep Out kind of vibe.  That is not who I want to be and as I've said I struggle with it a bit.  I like being upbeat and positive, even though that is not always possible. 

When I received my diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy I tried to put a positive spin on it and I believe that I have had some success in that endeavor.  I don't dwell on the 'what ifs' and the 'why me', but rather I take comfort in the knowledge that it could be worse and that I might in some small way be able to help someone else who is struggling.  I am not defined by my diagnosis, but it is a part of who I am and how I have grown.  I count my Blessings and they are many, one of which is MD.  I am Blessed to have been choosen to take this journey in life.  I struggle sometimes, that is true, some things are more difficult for me that they were before or than they may be for others.  It is a journey that I seek daily.  I am trying-trying to walk in His footsteps.  To be an example of God's presence in my life and to share that with others. 
We all make choices that can help to determine the outcome of things.  Sometimes it is easier to be overwhelmed by the negativity that we see in the world and forget to see the beauty.  It is there, we just need to seek it.  I am working to make a choice to choose joy in my life.  That is not to say that I am happy all the time or that I don't get down or blue, because that is just not possible.  But I believe that when we seek joy we can find it.  It is His way, and it is the path that I wish to follow.  Choosing Joy.  Not just during the holidays or from time to time, but every day. 

What is your story?  Share it with me, I'd like to hear it.

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