Finding our joy again. I often catch myself thinking, while watching my children play, how I wish that I could experience that same unbridled JOY that seems to ooze out of them.
The pit-of-your-stomach kind of laughter, the smiles, the giggles, and innocent teasing that fills their play.
I must admit, sometimes I’m a little jealous of their JOY. A joy so unencumbered by the concerns of this world… I wish I could bottle it up and take a sip each morning as I open my eyes. That it would flow through my veins and sustain me through the day.
Now, this does not mean that we are unhappy in life. Or depressed, or unsatisfied, or anything like that. I’m positive that most of us mothers are incredibly happy, and feel overwhelmingly blessed. We know how much we have, and we are thankful for that!
I just find that, as a mother, wife, friend, and all the other hats we wear, we get so “involved” with everything that has to get done, that sometimes we might feel we are on “Robot Mode”… Simply maneuvering ourselves through the daily expectations that we have of ourselves, and those that others have of us. (I’ve written about this theme before, in the MOTHERLOAD and Taking A Fresh Look At Yourself, so clearly, this is a relevant subject.)
Maybe we lose that JOY because we don’t fully allow ourselves the freedom to feel it… Maybe our thought process needs to change. And this begs the question; How do we find that inner JOY again? The kind of JOY that makes you smile at nothing at all. The JOY that inspires?
Are we so “bogged” down by the necessities of life that our thoughts have become “self” negative. Now again, and I really want to stress this, I’m not saying that our thoughts about our families, etc. are essentially negative… I guess what I’m trying to say is this: “How do our thoughts about ourselves impact the joy we have about ‘ME‘?”.
And the answer, for me, is totally based on what thoughts we allow to fill our minds. If we allow a series of happy thoughts to run through our minds they will most definitely show on our faces. So then the question begs… If our JOY is based on what/how we think about ourselves, how can we get better at this? How do we improve in the arena of “happy thoughts”?
I mean really… 3 hours sleep with a teething baby; harassed by a screaming 3-year-old (because she is not getting her way), and trying to keep an eye on 2 hyper-active superheroes running around… Or even our career? Where, in the midst of this chaos, are we meant to find a quick moment to think happy thoughts about ourselves? (Remembering this isn’t about our families, this is about us). If this is our reality, how in the heck are we supposed to get better at cultivating positive thoughts about ourselves!?
We know our thoughts build our lives, we know they can change our worlds… But how do we do this consistently?
Hello Messy Mama! I know I’m not a mum myself yet but your article still really resonated with me. I completely agree that positive thoughts about ourselves can truly make a difference to our lives. Being consistent with this IS a challenge but I have kept a daily gratitude journal for almost two years now and although some days it might just be “grateful that the day is over” I often find spending some time appreciating what I have achieved that day or thinking about what has gone well really helps those positive thoughts to have a daily presence (and not flounder under the weight of negative ones! I also have to often remind myself “Today I have done the best that I can, with what I have” because those days when energy is low and sleep is in wanting will mean we can’t stick to our normal expectations. I really think that maintaining positive thoughts in those instances means recognising our limitations and just being kind to ourselves!
I LOVE the idea of a gratitude journal. It is so important to remind ourselves of all the blessings that we are surrounded by! And you are so right, someday’s our best is just what we can give at that moment in time! Thank you! xoxo
thoroughly enjoyed this post Messy Mama. I have a massive issue with overthinking particularly negative stuff so this was a great post for me to read right now. #fridayfabulous
I am so pleased to hear that something I wrote has been worthwhile reading :) We all have those moments. I know I do too! Wishing you all the best. x
Lovely post, and so true! I think it’s very important to make sure that you are actually LIVING life and not just existing. Us mums have so much to think about, places to be, people to see, a million and one jobs ticking over in our minds, sometimes it is very easy to lose our joy. I try and look for mine in the smallest of places, in my childrens smiles, in the sound of their laughter, in that hot bath just calling my name! #brilliantblogpost
I love that! To live life and to not just EXIST! I think I need to go have a hot bath! :)…x
Wonderful post! It is so important to remember that our thoughts play a vital role in shaping the narrative of our lives (thank you for reminding us). I love the idea of a grattitude journal, as me tioned by one of your readers. I also think that one of the best ways to maintain positive thoughts about ourselves is to set, and achieve, daily goals – even small ones. Being able to lay your head down at the end of a day, knowing that you achieved something you set out to do that day, is a tremendous blessing and helps us to cultivate a more positive perspective on who we are and what we are able to achieve. This is important because our joy is often linked to whether or not we feel like we are living lives of purpose. Just a thought…
Great Comment, thank you!
Firstly, great post – love the way you throw it out there! I think the first thing to do – when you get five minutes and your thought processes aren’t being constantly interrupted by the children is sit down on your own and think about the things that make you happy – and jot them down. Make sure then that you factor those things in the list in to your week or if they are bigger things then into your 1 year or 5 year plan – I think it is very tempting and easy to drift when we have smalls and we shouldn’t (unless of course you’re happy doing that – but I sense you’re not!). I always jot things down – really really helps my sense of inner calm and purpose! Hope that helps and look forward to reading your next post #fortheloveofBLOG
Thank you! I love the idea of creating a “happy bucket list” and to incorporate that into our daily living! Great comment! xxx
The hardest thing to do as a mom being constantly needed by little people is have self joy or calmness. I take a half hour after the kids finally go to bed for myself. Be it reading a chapter in a book, write a few thoughts for a blog, take a steaming shower. It is about me in those few moments!#fortheloveofblog
Nothing like a hot shower/bath… I’m afraid that if I read I will pass out … :)
Ah yes, this is similar to what I’m writing about for Wednesday….Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Happy! I’ve been researching this topic for the course I’m currently studying and you’re right, happiness or JOY doesn’t just happen, you have to make it happen…with your thoughts or actions. My food for thought (from what I’ve revised) is that we need to be more mindful, sorry I know this is a fad right now, but it’s true….if we are actively engaged in a particular moment, even just commuting to work, it has been proven that we live a happier existence (the study will be in my post this week : ) ) Thanks so much for sharing with #StayClassy!
I can’t wait to read your post! Please “tag” me in it… Actively engaged with your thoughts! Love it!
I love the way children experience joy in such simple things. Don’t you wish you loved anything as much as kids love bubbles for example? For me, I have to take it back to basics just like the kids do. They aren’t bogged down with day to day life, they are just present in the here and now of the moment and that is what I try to do when I feel the negative thoughts starting to take over. This includes turning off the internet, tv, phone etc and just concentrating on being in the moment whatever that might be. Great, thought-provoking post – thanks so much for sharing with us on our first week of the linky – really hope you can join us again next week on #fortheloveofBLOG
Back to Basics… I like that. To shut out all interruptions, focus on the now and learn to enjoy.. xxx
Absolutely!! We blame having to make a living, run a home, run a life etc, but everyone has time for joy. If only we would all reclaim those moments and get back to that sheer unbridled joy in the moment. How much more wonderful the world would be! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFabulous
To just stop and appreciate the moment. Sometimes it is so hard being a “grown up” with all the responsibilities. But you are right. We need to stop, enjoy and appreciate. x
In my opinion (and also from reading on this fascinating subject), the crux is in self belief. If we believe something, we begin to ‘feel’ it, to live it, to breathe it. If we believe in ourselves, we tell ourselves we can do it. Using your example of children – their minds have not been filled with too much negativity, have not absorbed too much society-led beliefs about themselves. To me, THAT is the crux of it. #abrandnewday
Thank you! Believing in oneself is definitely an aspect to self acceptance and JOY!
I don’t consider myself a negaitve person but I do have a bit of self doubt every now and then, especially in the blogging world that I’ve jumped head first into! I get a lot of joy from watching the Robot grow and learn, it’s thick and fast as a 10 month old. It’s brilliant. I enjoy living on the edge and getting to the next challenge or adventure, it makes me tick. Each week I think about all the things that make me happy in the week, its such a good thing to do, I get much joy from it! Thanks for linking up to #abrandnewday
Looking for what makes you tick and making it a regular occurrence in your life. I love that.. Hmm time to get thinking. Thank you for your comment! x
I agree that our thoughts play a vital part in our finding joy. The day I discovered that I could refuse to believe my thoughts was the day I received freedom from negative thoughts. So, when they come, raging, I just replace with a positive thought. Also, I’ve found joy in going with the flow. Certain things happen in life and you suddenly realize, you’re not in control. You have no choice but to go with the flow and be grateful for small wins. Also, carving out some ‘Me’ time has helped me greatly. I also write a journal and I know it helps.
This is such a great comment. Letting go of having control all the time is so important!! X