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Picture your bucket… whatever size your bucket is, that is a representation of how many “bad things” you can handle without spilling over. Bad things might be actual traumatic events in your life… things like abuse, abandonment, death of a loved one, divorce, fire, storms, war etc.
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- Smile at someone; ask them how they are doing. Be more like “Elf”! “I’m Buddy the Elf, what’s your name? What’s your favorite color?!”
- Go for a walk at sunset with someone. (a loved one, a neighbor, a sibling anyone!)
- Fly a kite!
- Start an Appreciation Journal (have you heard about the power of gratitude lately?!)
- Make a CD of your favorite songs and give it to someone!
- Put down your cell phone and look into the eyes of the person across from you!
- Sing really loud to a favorite song with someone in the car with the windows down
- Laugh! Out loud! Just start laughing… it becomes contagious! You don’t even need a reason sometimes.
- Whenever you’re with a loved one, pause and remember that the most important thing is to be glad to be together. Whether you’re working, cleaning, watching TV, playing cards or eating a meal… make being glad to be together the priority!
Now, maybe this is just me, but I think somewhere deep in the file cabinet I call a brain, I still hear this warning when I’m around people I don’t know. This silent warning has blended with my “introversion” and “shyness” and kept me from lots of joy.
Joy is the reaction in our brain when someone is glad to be with us.
Being “wired” in the brain with fear is really a major hindrance to anyone who is trying to build joy.
own fears, and when I am able to look at them with honesty and vision set in reality, I can then use the facts of what’s really going on around me to determine whether or not my “fear” is justified. 9 times out of 10, it’s not. And for those times when fear was a healthy reaction to the person in front of me, Jesus is able to help me feel safe again.
Each family would build their own bridges to get to those islands when they needed to. The more frequently they went as a family, the bigger and stronger their bridge became. Walking together over to Anger island or Fear island on a regular basis, and then returning back to home on Joy Island was the way to build strong bridges. Strong bridges meant that it was perfectly acceptable to go back and forth. It was totally safe to explore all the islands from their well built bridges.
It was only meant to be a temporary place to visit after all.
It didn’t have any of the things she needed. And it was lonely. There weren’t any fruits in the trees here, and hardly any shade to shelter her from the sun. She was forced to go inland to look for shelter as more and more storms kept raging by. The problem is, the further inland she went, the sadder she felt.