Have you ever had one of those days where not a single thing seems to go right? Of course you have. We all have. Well, today was one just one of those days. Sure, I can laugh about it now, but earlier today I came pretty close to throwing an adult sized tantrum…seriously. For a moment I felt like an overtired toddler right before an epic meltdown. There’s no excuse for it really…can’t blame this one on depression…I was just in a horribly nasty mood.
It is unreasonable to expect every single day to be sunshine and rainbows. The truth is, some days are just harder than others. So what is the solution to a bad day or a bad mood? Do we let it run its course? Brush it off? Rationalize that it’s just the way things are? Or…do we recognize the power within us to change our negative outlook to that of a positive one. Please note that I used the word “outlook” instead of “outcome.” I specifically chose that word because it is important to recognize that some things in life truly are beyond our control. However; there is one thing that we do have control over, and that is our outlook and attitude. At times we will experience feelings such as sorrow, grief, frustration, impatience and even anger. To feel these emotions is human, but how we respond to these emotions define us.
I want to clarify and acknowledge something very important right now. No one in this life is excluded from pain and hardship. Bad things happen…sad things happen…devastating things happen. We are all bound to experience things such as the loss of a loved one, illness, financial difficulties, heartache, sorrow and many other heartbreaking trials. When we do experience such events in life, we need to allow ourselves the time to heal. Everyones healing time and healing process is different, and we need to respect and understand that. However, we cannot let events in life how (no matter how hard or painful they may be) determine the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, this is one of the most difficult concepts in life to apply.
I came across a quote that I really enjoyed and would like to share with you:
“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.” – Dalai Lama
I love it! Today is the day that matters the most…not yesterday and not tomorrow. Yesterday and tomorrow are two things that we do not have any immediate control over, but how we respond to today is entirely in our hands. This is helpful to consider when trying to find joy in the journey. No good comes from lamenting or wishing that our past were more joyful. Equally so, no good comes from waiting for a future date and time to experience joy as well. Today is the day to find joy in your journey.
This was my second day of my challenge to experience joy, and it didn’t start out as positively as I had hoped. That being said, the day ended on a positive note, and overall I would say today has been pretty good. Here is my diary entry and reflections on Day 2:
“Day 2 is complete! The day started off a little bit rough, but ended much better. I read Thomas S Monson’s conference talk “Finding Joy in the Journey.” There was so much that I loved about reading that, and I was able to gain some valuable insight and understanding. One of the first things that grabbed my attention was the quote from The Music Man: “You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you’ve collected a lot of empty yesterdays.” How true that is! All too often I do that in my own life. I constantly find myself making excuses like: when the house is clean, I will have friends over…when I’ve lost the weight that I want to, I will be happier and more confident…when I have my own life in order, then I will be able to serve others. How sad it is to live a life full of excuses! I sincerely want to focus on finding joy in each and every day. I want to find joy in my journey.
One of the assignments for today was to do something nice for myself that brought me joy. This was actually harder for me to do than I had anticipated. I guess it was that “excuse” thing. I told myself, “once the dishes are done and the laundry folded and put away I will do something nice for myself.” The problem was, I was constantly finding things that needed to be done, and as a result kept putting off doing something nice for myself. It took a bold step for me to say “stop and take some time for yourself.” But, I did it! I chose to have a relaxing hot bubble bath and enjoy some blueberry tea…I loved it.
Well that brings today to an end, and I am really excited for tomorrow’s assignments and challenges. Tomorrow’s focus will be on Random Acts of Kindness…I am so excited that I can hardly wait! “
Day 3: Random Acts of Kindness
- Pray, listen and feel.
- Watch “How Much Service Can You Do in 3 Days”
- Make a list of ways to be of service and ideas for random acts of kindness.
- Over the next three days, provide as many random acts of kindness and service as you can.
- Take a picture of yourself performing a random act of kindness and post it to social media with #joy.
- Be accountable to someone.
- Reflect in your journal.