Search This Blog

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Finding Joy in Where You Are

Today, I ran for 80 minutes.

That's a simple way of putting how my run was today.  However, I can also say that same event in a totally different way.

"As I walked out the door, ready to go out, the sun shone brightly, warming my skin, the first mile on the sidewalk warmed my legs up as I made my way towards Knoxville.  As a soothing wind caressed my whole being, I fell into a trance as I glided down the hill and made a turn to cross the bridge, looking at how the light touched the water, waves glistening.  As I made way down towards the river, I was eager to run on such a beautiful day, and two and a half miles in, I came upon a few water fountains spraying up on the sidewalk, and without a moment's hesitation, jumped through the cool water.  Soaked and smiling, I continued running as the sun dried me out, getting into a decent pace, running down Neyland Drive, making my way to Tyson Park, passing by a few families of geese.  As I passed by the UT Gardens, I looked down on my right and saw that there were a few turtles laying on a log lazily, soaking up the sun.  Ahead of me, a few cyclists were casually riding, and little by little, I began to reel them in.  Passing them, the lady in front was saying, "Oh my goodness!" making me smile even more, and as I waited to cross a road, a kind individual in a car waved me across, and I waved back.  As the forty minutes were up soon, I checked to see how far I'd run and wondered if I could continue this journey at the sub-seven minute pace I was going.  Slightly sore, but enjoying the pace, I began my trek back, passing other runners, and thought about how wonderful today was.  As I began running on Neyland Drive, I noticed a large boat lazily going the same direction as myself, and little by little, I inched forward bit by bit, pulling ahead.  As I came back, I came across the same fountains again, and embracing the cool water, I went through again, smiling once again at how silly I must have looked to those around.  Climbing back up and crossing Gay Street, I made it right in the nick of time before the boat passed underneath, and with that glorious feeling, I continued on, looking at my watch wondering if I would indeed come back in 80 minutes.  Seeing that I needed to speed up a good bit, the fun atmosphere shifted into a competitive one, as I started picking up my speed to see if I could indeed get back in time.  As I began climbing up the first hill on my last mile, my legs burned and I wasn't sure how I could keep this pace when it was suppose to be a 'casual' run, yet I pushed those thoughts aside and continued on.  As I came through the last tenth of a mile, I looked at the time, and realized that I wouldn't make it on time, but kept the pace up anyway, and finished 20 seconds past my allotted time to finish a wonderful run."

Now most people reading would wish that I stuck with that one simple sentence... but as for me personally, the feelings I had while running, a sentence doesn't do it any justice.

In our lives, we tend to shorten our experiences into small efficient stories that tells us what we've done, the achievements we've accomplished... but we fail to take in the details that describes the experiences we've gone through.  We focus too much on the results of our effort that we forget the journey itself.

In taking note of only our successes or failures, we lose the struggles we go through, the decisions we make, the experiences we gain, the people we meet.  It's not just about the details either.  It's about our view of each little event, where we open our eyes and take that time to appreciate what we're going through.

During the times of pain, we appreciate how we recognize our feelings... how our character and circumstances collide.  We open our hearts to and give ourselves the opportunity to understand where we stand.  It is then we are able to understand that pain is necessary, yet suffering... it's optional.  Joy or suffering, both come from within, and we have the capability of choosing either in our circumstances.

In the moments where things seem mundane, it seems hard to find joy... but once again, understanding that joy comes from within, it makes it so much easier to appreciate the world around you.  You begin to take in the details you are used to ignoring.  You welcome what may be a given as something special.

When something good happens, we usually get happy... and forget about being joyful.  Happiness is something that comes along for a ride and then goes away over time, while joy... joy stays with you for a longer jaunt, as a part of your character.

You see, joy does not come from the events that occur in your life, but from within.  It is up to us to harness that joy inside and use that joy as a lens to look through, seeing the world in a more beautiful way.  Joy has always been a part of who we are, but with the things that go on in our lives, sometimes we forget to utilize the capability it has to bring light to our lives.  Once we harness the joy within, we can use that to help those around us to realize their full potential, and one individual at a time, we can make this world into a joyful place.

Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.

-Mother Teresa

No comments:

Post a Comment