By Debbie Olujobi
Christmas is many things to many people. It’s the season to be jolly and I guess it would be if the true meaning of it was the reason behind all of the frantic activities that grip the world around the period. The season was not so jolly the past few years and I had to make a conscious effort to pray and ask God to break the cycle of drama that seemed to be all the present I got annually.
Joy is many things to many people and I have found that joy has many guises! It’s not what most of us expect. I had thought happiness and joy were one and the same but as the years roll by I realise that happiness is just a facet of joy.
If I were to define joy I would challenge a lot of people’s opinions and preconceptions! In my view joy is not the constant state of happiness; it is an acceptance of all that is. Joy is the ability to make peace with reality in all of its forms and phases.
That means embracing adversity and challenges without giving up. I can’t always hold on to happiness and I have accepted its fleeting nature. It’s an adrenalin burst I enjoy but it’s a high we all have to come down from. Joy is truth and I do my best to walk in its light. It’s the truth of my reality, the truth of my intention and the truth of my beliefs!
Joy is a destination you reach when your mind gets weary of travelling in circles and looking for happiness in all the wrong places and things. Joy is the rainbow with the many colours and happiness is one of those colours. Life gets meaningful when we embrace all of the colours and live our lives in a way where the entire spectrum of joy is the goal not just the yellow hue of happiness.
For Christmas I thought I could give a present that stops giving. An alternative idea to living. I discovered it a while back in a book. “Loving what is” is a book by Katie Byron and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. It rests on the premise of a 4 question Inquiry. In any situation she advises that we ask ourselves the following.
1.Is this the truth? Most situations are not as bad as they first appear, so we need to separate emotions and suggestions from the reality before we let ourselves fall apart. It means we have to examine our intentions, the intentions of others and weigh them against the result and reality confronting us.
2. Can you be absolutely sure that it is the truth without any doubt at all? In most situations conjectures and circumstantial evidence often exacerbate tense situations making everything seem direr than actually is. What we can’t establish as a %100 of truth should never be given recognition and power to do damage.
Malice is never true because its intentions are lies, failure is never true as one can always try again, and heartbreak is never true as one person not loving you doesn’t mean another will not. So the only truth is that things change no matter how bad they seem.
3. How do you react when you think that thought? This part of the inquiry is powerful as it asks us to examine our reactions and write it down. I especially like the part where she says “what is the self-talk that goes on in your head when you think the thoughts that are based on things that may not be true”? can you imagine a world where we stop saying things like “I am finished or it’s all over” when we are hurt or facing adversity?
4. Who would you be without that thought? The final question is the most healing of all. It’s the part where I let go of all the negativity in me and from others and consider that Joy is a rainbow and it’s impossible to lose all of the colours.
Nothing is final or over, there is always the opportunity to do it again. Changing cant to can is liberating. Darkness is a lie; it is just the absence of light. Any pain caused by negativity is the brainchild of Darkness and it is not the truth; no way!!
After the inquiry, the next phase is the light bulb moment. It’s the Turn around. Katie Byron tasks her readers to turn whatever they have written or thought around. I believe that to be the release of all pent up negativity and even guilt.
It’s simple turn the negative to positive; consider the possibility at least. It’s the part where we stop cleaving to darkness and step out from under the dark clouds into the light.
The difference between this season and the last difficult ones is my attitude. I stopped chasing perfection and stepped back to appreciate my reality. I’m not ashamed to say I do the inquiry regularly; it’s a great way to relieve tension and reduce drama.
This Christmas I am wishing everyone a turn around. Only the truth is real and It’s to be found in the good book and our hearts; anything else is darkness and that is a bold lie. Darkness does not exist, it is just the absence of Light. This season be jolly; at least try to be.