Once upon a time, I heard someone share about how happiness is a choice. After having heard the message about it I was actually pretty frustrated because those words met me at a sorrowful and challenging time in my life…Actually in Ecclesiastes, it even says that Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. And at that point, I held onto those words, but as time passed and those words of choosing to be happy continued to replay in my mind I had a great revelation…
You see, I’m pretty convinced that happiness is something that cannot be chosen, because it’s simply an emotion. Choosing to be happy in the midst of sorrow is a façade. It only masks brokenness and hides hurt instead of dealing with it head on and walking through the inevitable challenges that life brings us.
Joy, however, is an attitude and an attitude surely can be chosen! It’s a choice to be content with where God has us despite the emotions and circumstances that influence our emotions. I do believe that joy can be so overwhelming that if we do choose it we indeed will feel emotions of bliss and happiness despite our circumstances.
On a random note, I am currently taking a grad class about the brain and how it works. One of the most fascinating things I have learned so far is that our EMOTIONS take precedence over any other type of memory! It’s the most powerful part of our memory so much so that it can cause us to completely overlook logic and facts!
Furthermore, we also have these things within our brain called mirror neurons. This is why when we see people yawn, we yawn. It’s also why when we see people smiling, we cannot help but smile! So perhaps we’re wired for joy to be contagious too!
I very often find myself lost in contemplation of how people from the Bible never wavered in their faith and I wonder if never wavering in our joy is a key to living.