Saturday, December 16

Joy in The Pain

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The joys of life are hidden in the pain and misfortune of the day.

I truly believe that life can be sweet if you let it, but I was not always that optimistic. I can recall a time not to long ago, when I was very pessimistic. I didn’t see the glass half empty. I saw it empty. I never looked at the brighter side of situations; I thought that was a concept for the simple and stupid.  I eventually had the biggest eye opener from the smallest thing. I ate a piece of candy. Not just any piece of candy, a sour patch candy. I don’t like sour things, especially sour things that masquerade like sweet things. I would often say to my children; “Candy is either sweet or sour they just can not be both!” They would laugh and continue to eat those sour candies that they are so fond of.  I found myself craving something sweet and my son was eating some candy and it was a nice bright color it sparkled with sugar and I was desperate. Before, I knew it I place the candy in my mouth.  I totally threw the caution of my youngest child shouting; as if I was falling of a cliff.  “Mommy its sour!” By the time she completed the statement the candy was in my mouth, and my tongue had taste the sting of the sour. Needless to say, my entire mouth turned inside out and, I was in search for a napkin, my son requested that I give it a try, and I did. I learn that it’s a tangy sour taste in the beginning but as you continue to suck the candy the sour turns sweet in the end. I now have a small fondness for the sour candy.

Its in sharing the experience of eating sour candies with my children that I learn how life is sometimes, life those sour candies. That we may endure some hard times, some difficult seasons, some trying circumstances, and face some tasks, or obstacles that seem impossible to overcome.  If we continue the journey that is ahead of us and not give up we will learn that some of our greatest joys of life are hidden in the pain and misfortune of the day. I often query the successful (successful in their body, soul and finance) and asked them how happy they are that they are where they want to be in life. They normally response, that they are very happy. They often share with me that there most joyous time was getting there. They are happy and content where they are; they found joy in the journey.  The journey will take us through some sour places but if we continue to hold on; or to borrow a term from my grandmother; “suck salt” for awhile we will begin to see they are greatest joys were hidden in our pain and misfortune.

I befriend a couple who had loss their son in such a tragic way at a very young age.  When we had become friends it was not long after they had loss their son. I can recall how I would “tip-toe” around the subject, and didn’t want to bring it up. I have had my share of loss in my life, and have known people very close to me who have lose love ones, as well as children, and they have never truly been able to speak about it with out falling apart.  I have seen it devastated a family to the point that the parents divorce; the other children act out and the family is never the same. This couple was different, very different.  We were at their home at a dinner party, and someone begun to speak about their son in such a way that everyone else at the table was embarrassed. The couple begun to add to the conversation and gave their advice, as to how they use to handle such behavior with their son. I was aw struck; I have never seen a couple handle a situation in their shoes in that matter.

After the party I had to inquire. She share with me, they could have decided to allow the tragedy of losing their son be the only emotion they harbor in there hearts, or they could begin to fight everyday to live the life that they are bless to live. Not to question why, but to thank God for having him in their life as long as they did. She further disclosed that in accepting his death that they have become more at peace with family members, living their life to the fullest and their marriage is better than it ever been. She disclosed it’s in the pain of life that if you hold on long enough you can experience real joy.

If we continue to fight and not give up we will be able to define happiness and joy. Happiness is base on what is happening in your life. Joy is the emotion that is evoked by well being. It’s that “thing” on the inside that makes you smile even when you want to cry. It’s that “thing” that comes from self assurance, self acceptance and love. Happiness is derived from things, and circumstances. Joy out weighs circumstances and situations, its out weighs the opinions of others or how much money you have or the car you drive.  Joy comes from your heart. A joyful heart has the right motives, and the right motives makes for a person’s well being.

Life brings pain and sometimes misfortunate. In spite of how great you are, sometimes things just happen. They happen to the best of us. If we continue to push forward, Life can be sweet, if we let it.

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