Life comes in seasons. There are seasons of joy, seasons of anticipation, seasons of perseverance, seasons of worry and even seasons of sadness. As we pass from one dawn to the next, new emotions arise. New challenges. New experiences. The seasons are always changing, sometimes intermixing with each other, sometimes with droughts between.
In our public sharing world, we often forget that others experience anything outside of joy. Is this detrimental? Is it wrong to broadcast your happiness? Is it smoke and mirrors?
I don’t believe so. Everyone is human. Joy isn’t our natural state of being- there are seasons where it seems to evade our reality. Showing our peaks of joy help us remember, that in the midst of worry or sadness, there is still joy to be found. There is still hope that tomorrow is a new day. There is still hope for joy.
Maybe the leaves will change their color in the dawn?
With all the sadness in the world, I cherish the relm where we see only joy and pride in others. I’m thankful for friends with beautiful kids, I’m thankful for smiling selfies, and for pictures from around the world. Because, in truth, we know that behind each joy-filled picture is a struggle. A struggle to get the kids dressed, posed and attitudes checked. If you turned the camera around, you would probably see an undone Mommy. The smiling selfie is really just a beautiful face searching for self-efficacy–looking to escape the worries of the world. Even the pictures of friends traveling the world signify money that was saved and spent, hours in planning and many moments of stress.
Behind every joy is a story.
We must choose to take joy in the joy of others and remember that each of us walk through seasons of joy and seasons of pain. We climb out of seasons of sadness and persevere through worry. We spend lonely days, covering our pain and shielding our vulnerability. We watch others in their joy, wishing to grasp a piece of their pleasure. Yet, we fail to realize that whether in sadness or in delight- we are not alone.
We all need each other to celebrate in times of rejoicing and to cry in times of hopelessness. We need love to surround us as the seasons change, as new leaves bud, as warm breezes blow welcomed change. No life is picture perfect. No person can escape hurt. No one can do life alone.
As opportunities present themselves, as change unveils itself- choose joy. Choose to search for it, cultivate it, soak in it. Even when you cannot find your own, you can treasure the joy of others.
We all need joy in this life… so, when joy comes (because it always does), know that others (even in their changing of seasons) are rejoicing with you.