Archive for the ‘Joy’ Category

Happy People and Pain

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

Happy people have just as much pain as anyone else, in some cases more. It could even be argued that the happy feel pain more acutely than the unhappy, whose feelings are relatively numb. The real difference in happy people is that they’re not trapped by their pain. Rather than settling inside a happy soul, pain moves through it as through a channel, and that channel is joy. Joy keeps pain moving.

Happiness, rather than indicating an absence of pain, denotes a certain efficiency of processing life’s problems. Happy people don’t stay stuck for long; their lives are too rich for that. Greater happiness empowers them to take on more challenges, and moving through challenges makes them happier still.

Joy knows it’s on the winning side. That’s why it can rejoice even in the midst of suffering. If any of life’s horrors were permanent or unconquerable, joy would be impossible. Yet how easily we’re cowed into a defeatist attitude. It doesn’t take a major calamity to get us down; a petty annoyance will do nicely. A day, an entire week, indeed a lifetime, can be spoiled by a series of light and momentary troubles. While one believer praises God in the midst of terminal illness, another grumbles because of a runny nose. What’s the difference between these two lives? Attitude.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 41-42.

Living in the Present, Without Fear

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Fear can only be experienced by living in the future. Trying to live in the future now, which is impossible, only creates strain and fear. Even if we move only five minutes ahead in a difficult situation, we create a lot of fear for ourselves. By living in the future rather than the present, we can only expect our future to be like the past, because the past is all we have to give our future. However, if we fully live in the present moment, we give this to our future, and fear disappears. When living fully in this moment, no matter how difficult it looks, we are not concerned about our future; therefore there can be no fear.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 213

God’s Joy

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

God is always presented as full of joy, especially when he pardons.

— Pope Francis, The Name of God Is Mercy, p. 117

Lighten Up, For God’s Sake!

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

As a parent, would you be pleased with dutiful children who went around heavy-hearted, oppressed with guilt and anxiety, fearful of suffering consequences for their every misdeed and never lightening up enough to share a laugh or a relaxing moment with you? Don’t loving parents want their children to enjoy life? “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” (Matthew 7:9).

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 40

Joyful Voices

Friday, November 25th, 2016

Joy has a voice. People are unhappy because they listen to unhappy voices. If you’re unhappy right now, it’s certain that an unhappy voice is sounding in your mind. To become joyful you must listen to a joyful voice, distinguishing the one note of joy from all the other voices that clamor for attention.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 37

Rejoice!

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Joy is like breathing: It’s not enough to breathe in; one must also breathe out. In a word: Rejoice! Let your joy reverberate. Hug someone. Dance. Speak some inspiring words. Write a letter or a book. Don’t just think about happiness — be happy! Joy yearns to be physically expressed, acted out, lived.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 34

Life Wins.

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

We have staked it all on this — that life wins. Oh, dear friends — life wins.

Life wins. Sometimes now, especially if we will pray. But life wins fully, and very soon.

Just as we must fix our eyes on Jesus when we pray, we must also fix our hearts on this one undeniable truth: life will win. When you know that unending joy is about to be yours, you live with such an unshakable confidence it will almost be a swagger. You can pray boldly, without fear, knowing that, “If this doesn’t work now, it will work totally and completely very soon.” We can have that kingdom attitude of Daniel’s friends, who said, “God is able to deliver, and he will deliver. But if not . . .” we will not lose heart. Period.

— John Eldredge, Moving Mountains, p. 228-229

Happiness and Joy

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Happiness keeps joy honest. If the heart is joyful, let it tell our face.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 32

Being Happy Is Unselfish.

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Research suggests that cultivating your own joy and happiness has benefits not just for you, but also for others in your life. When we are able to move beyond our own pain and suffering, we are more available to others; pain causes us to be extremely self-focused. Whether the pain is physical or mental, it seems to consume all of our focus and leave very little attention for others. In his book with the Dalai Lama, psychiatrist Howard Cutler summarized these findings: “In fact, survey after survey has shown that it is unhappy people who tend to be most self-focused and are socially withdrawn, brooding, and even antagonistic. Happy people, in contrast, are generally found to be more sociable, flexible, and creative, and are able to tolerate life’s daily frustrations more easily than unhappy people. And, most important, they are found to be more loving and forgiving than unhappy people.”

— Douglas Abrams, The Book of Joy, p. 62-63

Mixed Joy

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

When joy is colored sad, it’s because in the midst of sadness it comprehends something greater. When joy is mixed with fear, it’s because it smells victory in the offing. When joy’s heart breaks, it’s because joy feels free and safe enough to embrace everything, even the feeling of falling to pieces.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 25