The holidays can be such a wonderful and magical time of the year for many people, but for some, it is sometimes a painful reminder of the loved ones they have lost. Though we may feel pain, we can still find joy through the pain. Joy is defined as “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” How can you feel great pleasure when it feels like all hope is lost? I am here to tell you, from experience, it is possible. I’m not saying that I know the truths to all mysteries of the concept of joy, but you do have control of your emotions and how you react to things that are not of your control.
I want to give you a few ideas of how to feel joy amidst sorrow but before I do I want to explain that this is not some magic recipe that’ll make your life perfect. It is by doing these things over and over again you are able to look back a few months and be able to see a change, the change is gradual, but it is still there.
Something that helps, no matter if you feel a little down or if you have gone through a difficult time is helping others. By lifting others, you are also able to be lifted. Try going to a nursing home to spend time with the older folks, or to a soup kitchen to feed the hungry, or fundraise for. No gesture is too small. It is important to know that we are not alone in our struggles. People are struggling all around the world, but it is what we do with those struggles that truly makes a difference.
When we are in the midst of pain it feels like we are stuck in the tunnel and we can’t find the light at the end. But it is important that we find at least a sliver of light at the end. Find something to look forward to. As a trick find something each week, preferably at the end of the week, to look forward to. This will help you feel the motivation. Now that you feel motivated to keep going there is still more steps that are needed to feel joy. You can feel happy easily, but joy takes much more effort. Try to find something good that happened each day and write it down. By not only looking forward to something each week, but also making a conscious effort to see the good in each day is getting you on the right path to feeling the joy you are so longing for.
It is important to surround yourself with the right people. When you surround yourself with people that are willing to listen to your struggles but don’t cripple you, it will have a great impact on your life.
Hobbies are also a great way to get you excited about life. Ever wanted to become a writer? Start a blog! Love the guitar? Sign up for guitar lessons! I believe that it is never to late to pick up a new skill. We always say someday, but today is the day. If anything you have learned from dealing with sorrow for a passed love one is that life is short so live it up and be the best person you can be!
Most importantly, I turned to God during my struggles. I learned that I cannot do it on my own, I needed Him to lift me while I was weak. I love the song “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban. My favorite part goes like this, “You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains. You raise me up to walk on stormy seas. I am strong when I am on your shoulders. You raise me up to more than I can be.” This song really spoke to me. I am only strong with God. I can only get through sorrow with God. I can only feel true joy because of my savior, Jesus Christ!
We are able to fell joy because we have experienced hardship. We can’t feel the good without knowing first what the bad is. If there is only one thing you take away from reading this, I hope you take away that you are not alone in this. You have people around you that are feeling the same way and want the best for you. No matter what your methods are, know that you are worth the effort.