Thursday, April 1, 2010

Inspired Sistah's Get-It-Together, Girl Tip #4: Live Joyfully

Joy can be defined as "great happiness" or "something that brings happiness," while happiness is defined as "a feeling of pleasure." While those definitions are correct in their connotation, I’d like to offer another perspective: Happiness is a feeling subject to your circumstances, your mood or your hairstyle, while joy comes from what you know rather than from what you feel. Happiness can be fleeting, while joy is unwavering. Happiness says, “Roderick smiled at me today and that makes me feel good about who I am,” while joy says, “Even though Roderick did smile at me, his attention does not define my worth.”

I believe the secret to living joyfully is to live a life full of passion and purpose. The deep sense of pleasure you receive from operating in what you’ve been created for, trumps any feelings you get from those new stilettos or that piece of chocolate cake. To live in confident assurance of a life well-spent brings peace and satisfaction that is unparalleled. Unfortunately, that type of joy is illusive to a lot of people. They spend their days, either in a mediocre existence waiting on their ‘ship to come in,’ or chasing fruitless activities one after the other. Having real, bona fide joy, to them, seems like a fairy tale.

So take a minute, a day, a week, or as much time as you need to evaluate where you are on the spectrum. If you find yourself on the illusive end of joy, it’s time to really soul-search and pray about what brings you the greatest sense of fulfillment. Let me give you a hint: It probably has nothing to do with you. I believe our true joy comes from serving others. You see, it’s in the serving that the joy comes. That joy is unnerved by the economy, who’s doing who, or your dress size. I live for that type of contentment every day. What about you?