Posted: 12:04 pm Thursday, June 9th, 2016
By Staff Writer
Don’t Let Others Steal Your Joy
Every evening you invite me into your your cars, your office, your living rooms, your kitchens, onto your front porch… and I do my best to help you smooooooth off the rough edges of the day.
We chat, we tell stories, I play some music, and hopefully, I share a few gems, a few pearls of wisdom, if you will, that I’ve probably learned the hard way (because that’s the only way I learn!) in hopes of sparing you some measure of pain or heartache.
Here is one of those pearls, unstrung, to be polished and examined; DO NOT let others steal your joy!
They are out there, those joy-stealers! Those sour-faced, negative minded, fault-finding, persnickety, pain in the patooties types. Nothing brings them more miserable glee than sucking the happy right out of you. Don’t let them!
You know what I’m talking about! The aunt or neighbor that tells you how the decisions you’re making about YOUR life are the wrong ones… The boss that is never satisfied… The guy behind you in line that is muttering under his breath and sighing heavily because he thinks you’re taking too long at whatever it is you’re doing.
And maybe, hopefully not, but maybe you recognize yourself in one of these profiles.
Do you look and focus and celebrate the positive? The millions of little miracles of life and love that happen every second of every day?
When you have the ‘seat kickers’ behind you, are you instantly irritated? Or, do you pause and think back to when your kids were young, and remember how difficult it was for them to endure an airplane ride; all those hours of SITTING STILL when God made their little bodies to MOVE!
Maybe you get impatient when the line is too long, or someone forgot their check book, or they’ve put too many items into their cart and ask the checker to remove things, one-by-one, so they can afford their purchases.
Ever walked out of the house without something important? Been guilty of not paying attention? Gone through a tight spot when money was scare but appetite was still big? Remember these times and find some compassion.
Don’t let others steal your joy and don’t be a joy-stealer.
Here is what I’ve learned. Joy is a decision.
Stop. Breathe. Count to 10 or 20 or to infinity and beyoooooond (too much?) You get my point. As Mr. Rogers would say, “Look for the helpers.” Look for something that not only evens the score with Mr. or Mrs. Negative, but something that will tilt needle toward the “It’s great to be alive!” zone.
Make the decision to be joyful. Choose happy. It’s not that difficult, but it does take practice. And practice makes perfect.
Feel it. Be it. Share it.
That’s My Dad
That’s My Dad! tells the stories of fathers who helped to shape the lives of successful men and women in the competitive worlds of media, arts and entertainment, and professional sports. Hear from:
Joe Girardi, manager, New York Yankees
Allan Houston, former NBA all-star and assistant GM, New York Knicks
Gretchen Carlson, former Miss America, author, FOX News anchor
Jeff Kemp, former NFL quarterback
Lee Rouson, former NFL running back
Michael Franzese, former New York mobster, inspirational speaker, author
Tina Cervasio, NY television sports anchor, FOX 5 & ESPN radio sportscaster
Darryl Strawberry, former Major League Baseball All-Star, ordained minister, and author
Frances Hesselbein, president and CEO of The Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute and former CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA
David Tyree, former NFL wide receiver with the New York Giants
Roderick Caesar, senior pastor Bethel Gospel Tabernacle, Queens, New York
Like me, whether these role models were hurt or helped by the choices of their fathers, they have chosen to learn from their past and portray exemplary qualities to make them who they are today.
This book demonstrates the power of true fatherhood and the difference it makes in the lives of children. It’s a great book to pick up for Father’s Day, or an expecting dad!
You may find your copy through this link: That’s My Dad!
I had the great privilege of attending a Broadway production, Eclipsed, starring academy award winner, Lupita Nyong’o, this weekend. It wasn’t a chance happening, I jumped through a lot of hoops to get tickets and there was more than one God Moment that got me there as well.
Eclipsed is a play about is a poignant and moving story about survival during the second phase of the 20+ year Liberian Civil War. It has only a cast of 5; 4 captured women who serve as the “wives” of a war lord, and one peace-keeper who comes from the city in an attempt to quell the unrelenting violence tearing their world apart.
I wanted my girls, four of them born in a Liberian refugee camp in Ghana, West Africa to see this play. To see what their mothers, who escaped on foot at very tender ages had endured. To help bring understanding to their lives.
It was so real, so authentic, that I wondered if I had done the right thing. I believe I did. The cast is amazing! They are able to portray the inhumanity of the time and circumstance with such grace, courage, strength, and humor, that hope and humanity is exactly what comes shining through.
Eclipsed is only running through June 18. If you have the opportunity please go see it! Your heart will never be the same!
I have a crazy whirl-wind schedule the next few months. I will have MANY opportunities to be a Grumpy Gus, but I’m going to try and take my own advice and choose joy instead. I will choose to be a helper.
I’ll come home after each commitment and be tired and achy and longing for my own bed and just, oh, just 30 seconds to myself… because I’m human! But I’ll take care of myself – this is also an imperative component. I’ll sleep in when I can, have the kids make me tea, and eat my veggies.
I will find time, each day, to talk to God and thank Him for my blessings and for any challenges and stress I find in my life, for I know through these experiences He is teaching, not testing me.
I will refuse to let others steal my joy! Please, don’t let anyone steal yours either!