The moment that I first read this statement, I found myself in a place where I was pretty certain that I was not "in love" with my life. A friend posted this image on her Instagram feed and I'm really glad she did because it got me thinking.
I decided that there are two ways to attempt to make it true in your life. You can choose to have a joyful attitude, regardless of what is happening around you- resulting in for the most part, being more in love with your life. -and/or- You can choose to surround yourself with the things that you love, the activities, the people that truly make you happy, give you joy in life.
The attitude change is more of a no-brainer. It totally makes sense to just simply change perspective and decide to put more effort into enjoying each moment. In my most recent work experience, I was very challenged to do just that.
As I have explained in earlier posts, for the past year and a half, I have been in a land of in-between. This place of in between led me to a position much different than my ministry assistant role at a church- I was now a sales associate at a women's clothing boutique. My experience working at the boutique was a mixture of "I love this! Fashion! How fun?" and "Oh my word, I'm so bored- could I possibly organize scarves for another minute?" I tried SO hard to simply change my attitude, to be okay with where God had me for now, and enjoy as much as I could. But day after day of trying to be positive I found myself asking the questions: Do I just need to change my attitude? Or is that not going to cut it, and it's really just an unhappy, stressful situation that I could easily cut out of my life?
But the choice of surrounding yourself with things that you love, is a bit more difficult to process. On one hand I think it is a smart thing to do- cut out the things in your life that make you unhappy, or don't encourage you, replace with something you do love- and as a result you'll love life more. But on the other hand, can we really live life that way? Is it really fair or possible to just cut out the things that are uncomfortable or that are difficult? I don't think it's very realistic in most scenarios. But is it?
In my situation, after much consideration and effort to change my attitude- the right choice for me was to move on from the position at the boutique. It was such a tough decision, but I realized that the position was causing more frustration than joy most days and therefore it just wasn't worth it for me. I understand that I won't always be in a position where I can just on a whim cut out the bad from my life to make myself more happy. I am in a unique position where my husband supporting me financially gives me a little more freedom than the average bird. I get that. But what I am thankful for is, through this situation- thinking about how to be more joyful, to be more in love with my life, it really helped me gain perspective on the choice that we have to be happy.
It is so easy to get stuck in a rut, especially when the winter blues hit, and think- ugh, I am stuck in this unhappy place and there's nothing I can do about it. Sometimes I know that I am perfectly capable of just changing my attitude and being more joyful, but then I'm just too dang lazy to do anything about it! So instead of being happy- I remain melancholy, lazy, with a bad attitude. It can be so frustrating!!
As I've thought more and more about this topic, I have decided to, challenge myself to be more in love with my life. This post, this idea, has been brewing in my mind for the past 3 weeks and I am so thankful that it has because through it, I honestly think that I have experienced more joy. In John 10, Jesus says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Notice He doesn't say, to have a mediocre life, or a life that's boring or lame- He says, "have it to the full." We live in a world that is full of darkness and heavy things and sadness- all things that threaten to take away our joy. But God doesn't intend for us to live a sad life! Through Christ we are given the opportunity to live life to the full- to find Joy in Him.
A couple in church a couple weeks ago wrote a song with the lyric that said, "Sometimes I find that gladness is a choice we make to step into the light and turn our backs on darkness once again." What a great illustration!! I love this idea that not only does choosing gladness result in more joy, but it also means that you are turning your back on darkness. So that is what I am challenging myself to do; to choose to be glad and turn my back on the darkness in this world. And I challenge you to do the same!
It all starts with a choice. Maybe sometimes it will be truly cutting something out like my boutique position, or maybe it will only be a choice to choose to be happy. Either way, it is so worth it. If you made it through this lengthy post, I commend you. And I want to encourage you to take a few moments to dwell on this idea in your life as well. Perhaps it will be life-changing, who knows!