I have a passion for validating feelings. When my 4 month old is crying in his car seat, I swallow the “It’s okay” statements and instead say, “Oh buddy, you’re so frustrated.” When my girlfriend tells me that her newborn has been crying for hours, I stand with her in the hard for a moment, “I’m so very sorry. It’s so painful to hear your wee one hurting.” Then I ask, “Is there anything I can do?”

I want to deal with my own sadness, my own pain, in such a way that enables me to be in the presence of someone else’s without needing to push it away. And, I’m discovering the most profound thing, to do this, to appropriately deal with my own pain, I have to find my own joy.

When I try to artificially push away pain with comments like, “It will be okay,” or, “God has a plan,” it is often because I’m not secure in my own joy. My joy is so fragile, it can’t withstand the storms of brokenness that surround me.

If I want be a salve for the pain that abounds in our world, I must find my own joy. Not an artificial, everything is wonderful, kind of joy. But a joy that stands in the rubble. A joy with calloused hands and achy feet. 

I know I can’t just choose joy. My quest for unshakable joy must begin by tending the ground from which my feelings arise. So, today I’m kicking off a new series and a give away dedicated to joy-producing thoughts.

“Joy is Rising” will be a series of stories, some my own, some from my joy heroes, about our thoughts that cultivate a joy that endures through pain.

I would also love to hear how you cultivate joy! I’m going to give away FOUR $25 Amazon gift cards. You can participate in four different ways. Before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve do one or more of the following:

1. If you are a blogger, write a post sharing how you tend the ground from which joy arises? What thoughts do you meditate on to cultivate enduring joy? Be sure to link up below. Here is a button you can use in your post.

2. Comment below with your favorite joy-producing thoughts.

3. Share simple thoughts or quotes that produce joy for you on twitter using the hashtag #joyisrising.

4. Share your joy-producing photos on Instagram using the hashtag #joyisrising.

I will randomly select one participant from each of the above FOUR participation streams to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Here’s the fine print:

  • -Must be 18 years of age or older and a US resident to win.
  • -Giveaway closes at 11:59pm EST on 12/31/12.
  • -Winners will be chosen using random.org.
  • -Winners must reply to winning notification with contact information within 72 hours or a new winner will be selected.
  • – One prize limit. If a participant is selected through more than one entry stream, a new winner will be selected.
  • – I am sponsoring this giveaway myself to thank you for sharing your joy!

Let’s do it! Help me close out 2012 with remarkable, unshakable joy!

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This article has 4 comments

  1. Joye Reply

    “I will NEVER leave you.” -God. Nothing could bring me more joy than that.

  2. Becca Reply

    Walking tonight with my three sons, candlelight trails out on an icy marsh, hands held, frozen noses, wishes for the New Year. Pure joy, right there.

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