No one wishes to be lonely or depressed. To live a life filled with joy would be wonderful, yet so often it eludes us. It can be yours, and in fact is must be yours. Let’s take time right now to find it.
When you opened your eyes this morning, did you realize that this day has been given to you as a gift – as one new day to live and enjoy?. What if it was the only day you had? Take it all in as though it was your first day and your last day.
You might want to open up a journal at the close of day and make a list of all the things you have to be grateful for. You have eyes to see and what wonderful things there are to see. Look at the cloud formations and the sunsets. See a lake with all the birds flying about. Take in the crashing waves or the thundering waterfall. See all the beautiful flowers and all the colors of nature. Look into the face of a child or someone you love. And be grateful for your eyes.
You have been given ears to hear. Get up early and listen to the birds chirping in the trees. Visit a playground and listen to the laugher of playing children. Play some beautiful music and let it fill your soul. If you can hear the phone ring or the dog barking in the distance, be grateful for the sounds. Is there anything more soothing than the sound of the first raindrops on your roof? Pay attention to all you can hear and feel the joy of sight and sound.
What tastes better than your favorite ice cream or hot buttered popcorn? What is your favorite thing to eat? Is it chips and salsa or a big juicy hamburger with fries? Maybe a fresh summer peach – you know the kind that drips down your arms as you eat it over the kitchen sink. Savor your gift of taste and be thankful for it.
What would it be like if you had no sense of smell? When you smell cookies in the oven or homemade bread baking, you are enjoying another gift. What are some of your favorites? You can smell the fragrance of roses or of the summer rain hitting the hot sidewalk. Become aware of all the scents around you. You will be amazed when you begin to pay attention.
By now you are aware that we are thinking about our five senses. The remaining one is touch. Ever pet a kitten or a rabbit? Ever feel the warm sand under your feet during a day at the beach? There is the always stickiness of honey as you lick it off your fingers. Ever receive the warm kisses of a puppy? There is the handshake, the pat on the shoulder or the warm embrace of a hug… great to receive but also great to give.
Think about this, in your gift of another day to live, you have all these other gifts as well. When you add them all up at the end of the day, you have experienced joy. They are always there, free for your own personal pleasure; it’s just that you have to be in touch with them.
If we were to think about the things that have happened in our lives that have brought us over the top feelings of joy, we find it to be a shorter list. Make your own as you think back about those. It might be things like this: Being accepted to the college of your choice, your wedding day, the birth of your first child or the day your grandchild drew you a picture and, in scribbled printing wrote, “I will love you forever.” These are the joys that left you with a smile you just couldn’t get off your face. But then there are the daily joys. Let’s look at what they might be.
When you turn on the faucet and find fresh running water to drink, think “thank you.”
Is there nothing better than a nice hot shower to start the day? Think about electricity and how much we miss it when there is a blackout. We tend to take for granted the flipping of a light switch or the T.V. control, simple, daily gifts that are all ours to be grateful for.
Have you ever come across a tiny nest in your backyard that has baby humming birds tucked inside? Ever watch the butterflies go from flower to flower? Have you enjoyed a day of fishing on a beautiful lake? Think about all the little things in your life that have been put in your path and have put a smile on your face. You have found a reason to be joyful!