Does joy, happiness, pride, anxiety present itself in our lives or are we producing it through our mindset, disposition, and choices? I tend to believe that we are in the midst of circumstances and get to choose how we relate to them. I can be fearful of an adventure to the top of Mount Norquay or excited by the challenge or prideful that we are attempting the climb or many other emotions and feelings or combinations of many of them.
It doesn’t seem likely or possible that joy is floating around looking for a place to land. I can’t accept that anxiety is in the ether waiting for a turn to crowd into my life.
They all come from within and can be prompted by external situations, but if I run the sum of the circumstances through a reflective sieve, I can choose to be optimistic, pessimistic, realistic, skeptical, or naive. What gets collected after being examined has more to do with the process of rendering that the initial ingredients.
When faced with a choice between positive and negative, what prospers a man to lean into the dark? I am committing to the awareness that I most often do get to make a decision. From that point, I am adamant that I will turn to the hopeful, the outrageous and even the ridiculous instead of spiraling into the pit of despair, distrust, distance. When I can move closer to a friend and her joy or sadness, I will draw near and spill happiness at her feet. If I am faced with a situation or struggle, I am willing to live through it and see how my anxiety and pain can be sapped.
In the end, it seems that I/we get to decide what we are feeling, how we react and what we embrace. The emotions live inside us not in the world so if I desire joy I need to begin being joyful.