Choose Joy

I think sometimes we take on too much of what we think we’re supposed to do, and inadvertently let go of the things that make us feel free.

We lose ourselves and forget what brings us the most joy.

We give up on our childhood dreams because they don’t fit the mold of what a “grown up” looks like.

We stop dancing because we can’t do it professionally.

We stop singing because we know it won’t lead to fame, and what else would be the point?

We stop writing because we can’t write a best selling novel.

We stop playing sports, because we’re not as good as we once were.

Too many of us have stopped doing the things that truly make us feel alive. We gave up because we felt like we weren’t good enough. And we traded our dreams in for corporate jobs that pay the bills and get us by, but they don’t bring us true joy.

I think we all need that back in our lives. Doing things we love, not for fame and fortune, but to make us feel complete…to make us feel alive.

That’s why I love the artists.

I love the 30-something woman who still enters dance competitions and choreographs gorgeous routines for herself and others.

I love the 65-year-old man who does community theater, bringing to life new characters with every show.

I love the 40-something blogger who keeps writing, even if only a few people are reading her words.

I love the 80-something grandpa recording his favorite songs in his makeshift studio and burning CDs for his grandkids.

I love the athletes.

The marathon runners accomplishing big goals.

The moms who play soccer on a league team once a week.

The dads playing pick-up basketball games every morning.

I love the builders.

The ones who build and re-build. Who create new things and restore old ones. Who see beauty in the possibilities.

I love watching people do things that make them happy. Because they make other people happy, too.

Take a dance class. Write the book you’ve always wanted to write. Run a race. Be in a play. Do whatever it is you love, and do it for you. Not for anyone else. Not for prestige or perfection. But for rekindling the joy that comes with just being true to yourself and the gifts God gave you.

-by Hayley Peck Westwood
My Life, Elevated

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