When Choosing Joy isn't easy.

So, yesterday was a DAY, you guys. I struggle sometimes because my whole platform and what I feel is my mission to spread joy, encourage and share a little optimism in a world that isn't always the most optimistic and positive, often gets challenged. And for the most part, my attitude remains fairly positive and headed in the right direction.....

Except when it's not.

Here's the thing. Choosing joy and choosing to look on the bright side of things is pretty easy when we are a having a good time. When things are going smoothly. When life is good, our kids are behaving, everyone's healthy, the sun is shining.

But when the going gets tough?? Well, it isn't as easy. When our kids are out of control. When someone we love is sick. When we feel disconnected from our friends and/or family. When we are fighting a battle or disease. When we lose our jobs. When life hands us all sorts of challenges and obstacles. That's when it's not easy to choose joy. It's easier to just complain about it.. It's easy to be sad about our circumstances. It's easy to have a pity party. It takes effort to feel positive in a situation that is downright not positive.

Now.....we're all human. We aren't perfect little sunshiny people who never feel sad, angry, depressed, hurt or disappointed. And that is most certainly not the point of this post. We have to feel all those feels. We have to feel those, embrace and respect that we're having those feelings. But we also have a choice to make after that. Are we going to stay sad, disappointed and angry, and let those feelings rob us of our happiness and contentment?? Or are we going to get up, face the music and move forward??

No one said it's easy. I know this to be true. Because I have experienced my own share of challenges, obstacles and heartbreak. And I have watched friends and loved ones get life-changing, heartbreaking news. I look to my dear friend, Nicole, as an absolute prime example of someone who has literally been through hell, but has been such an inspiration to me and so many, as she remains positive and strong throughout it all. She had open-heart surgery in the fall of 2015, only to find out she had breast cancer in the spring of 2016. She's had more than her share of a few bumps along the way, too. All along though, her outlook and determination to positively influence and help others in her journey is absolutely powerful. The fact that she is choosing Joy in spite of her circumstances is having a domino effect on others that is OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD.

Look around and see who is making a positive difference in our lives. And maybe even tell them the difference they're making, thank them. Because like I said, we know it's not easy. It often takes some monster-sized effort, faith and hope to bring the joy. How we react, what we do in the next moment--we can't let our obstacles and heartbreak define us. We get to define the outcome.

Yesterday was rough. But today will be better. Make it a good one, friends. 😊 #choosejoy