Spiritual Journaling and Dancing for Joy
11/1/2012 8:43 PM
I should be dancing for joy. I have three beautiful kids, I love my husband, my home is warm and safe, I have a great job, a crazy dog, a great church and friends and family that love me. Why am I not dancing for joy?
I've been thinking about what's blocking my joy. I'm having trouble letting things go: there's just not enough time to do everything I want to do and I don't like that. I'm also having trouble deciding what to let go and what to hold on to. I need to figure out my priorities, let go of some of my plans and embrace what's important. For me, this is the road to peace.
I don't just want peace. I want to dance for joy on that road. I want to really experience how blessed I am. Recently, I watched a presentation involving a jar filled with golf balls. The presenter added the golf balls first, followed by small stones, sand and then water. The golf balls were the most important things. Everything else took up space in that jar, but these other space takers were not always important or necessary. Maybe peace and joy is found when I figure out, and toss out, all those space takers in mylife? Some of my plans (and even some of my old hopes and dreams) need to go.
I know my kids, my husband and my family are my most important things. I need to stay connected with my close friends, my church family and the people in my community that God is calling me to help. It's important that I take my job seriously, because my students are depending on me to guide them and teach them. I need to pay the bills, exercise, do the laundry and manage the things in life that need to be done to live safely and with good health. So where do I draw the line with the other stuff? How do I decide what's important and what doesn't need to take up space in my life?
Maybe I should draw the line at the place where the"other stuff" robs my joy. Sometimes I do things because, in my mind’s eye, they will make me happy. Then, I discover that these things aren' tmaking me happy at all. I find out that a good thing has become too much of a good thing. I find out that my choices are based on misguided priorities.
I created my painting, Dancing for Joy, on a day when I was full of joy. It was a day when all the "important things" were taken care of well enough to pause and take a reach for something really satisfying. I got out my canvas, paints and brushes, and then I created. My choice to paint allowed me to experience joy. Some things had to be set aside to create my painting. Some things needed to be let go. I had to make a choice about what pebbles, sand and water I would allow into my jar that day. My happiness wasn't determined by what happened to me that day. It was determined by my choices. I created a space to be happy and I used it.
Today, my options are still the same. I must choose. Today, I think I will choose joy. The laundry can wait, and today just isn't the day to clean the toilet. I'm going to go do something that I enjoy, and I'm going to be happy. That’s why I am writing in my spiritual journal today, and it’s why I’m sharing my spiritual journal with you. My journal helps me sort stuff out and clarify my priorities, so I can choose well and choose joy. Today I made room for the “important things” and today I made room for joy.