I don’t know about you but Dec 26th always has the feeling of being a bit flat. Not that the day is ever bad, but there is so much anticipation and excitement that goes into preparing for Christmas that the day after feels just like an average day in contrast. Don’t get me wrong, any day I have breath, my health and family around me is great, but you have to admit the day doesn’t carry the same energy as Christmas.
Instead of having today feel flat for you, I figure together we use the lull in events and pause in our schedules as some time for reflection. We have been talking about “walking the line” between our current state and where we want to be in the key areas of life. From our fitness, nutrition, and relationships, today there is no better focus that on addressing the state of our hearts.
Now, that may sound a bit cheesy, but I guarantee you’ve been evaluating your heart lately on some level or other. If you’ve been reflecting on 2018 and beginning to dream what you’d like to see in 2019 you’ve been digging into the state of your heart. The question for us to dig into today is “If anything could be different that would make your life more joyful what would it be?”
Notice the question references your joy NOT your happiness. Our hearts will be happy when we have cultivated an environment that is joyful. Joy isn’t a feeling, but a choice not relationed to our situation. It can’t be disconnected from gratitude. Therefore, this question has less to do with what has to shift in your circumstances and more to what needs to change in your soul. What patterns of thinking, feeling, and choosing need to be re-calibrated so you can operate each day with joy?
One of the best ways to begin this journey is to create more margin/ rest into your weekly rhythm. This gives you the time to evaluate, and continually re-evaluate where you choose to spend your time and how you choose to enjoy it. There it goes again… that word “choice.” For it is out of the heart the mouth speaks… or in this case the choices we make. If we don’t like where we are at currently, then all we need to do is make different choices. Now this is where it gets sticky.
We can try to address an internal issue by changing an external behavior. This is another way of saying you can treat the symptom, but not the cause of what real issues we have when we do this. I have fallen into this trap many many times. I don’t believe today that I will be able to answer this for you, nor do I think it is right to do so. Instead however, my goal of today is to stir up your mind to begin to look at the state of your heart, and where you desire it to be and begin the journey of transformation. NO better day than a slow and simple day like Dec 26th to begin right?
The key things to keep in mind as you dive into this are to take note if you avoid the root issue instead of addressing it. This is a sign you have unresolved hurt, pain, or fear likely caused by some event in the past that must be addressed. Like it says in Monopoly “do not pass go, and do not collect $200” until you’ve dealt with this! You’ll simply set yourself up to repeat the same pattern and cycle over and over again. Who wants that? The new year is fast approaching so we might as well decide to leave the old and the past just there.. In the past. Then we can ensure our hearts start the new year whole. This will be a process that will likely need to be repeated to keep it healthy and whole, but we must start with first things first.
The last thing to address when it comes to your heart is to give yourself grace in the recovery process. You are not going to change over night. We ended up where we are today after making similar choices over and over again. To expect things to transform in a moment neglects the value of taking each step of the processes of development. Just like the development of a baby in the womb there is NO short cutting what healthy growth and gestation looks like. Don’t fight the process or try to accelerate it, the consequences can be catastrophic, instead find ways to enjoy the journey to new levels of health and wholeness. That is where you discover real peace, joy, faith, and most of all genuine love.
Praying and believing God blesses you and your family as you close out 2018. And that in these last few days of this year fresh dreams and vision for 2019 become clear.
Happy New Year!