Focus is an incredibly powerful thing when we understand that ‘what’ we see commands our attention, perception and reaction. Joy and misery: both are equally visible at the same time. It’s our choice.
Whichever one commands our focus dictates to a large degree our next minute, hour and day—the present moment.
The Marriage Example
At times our partners do one lovely thing for us that we didn’t ask them to do, but then they forget to do an equally important thing we did ask them to do. If we’re in a ‘joy frame’ we see the former and don’t worry about the latter. But if we’re living the other way around—our ‘misery radar’ energised, which has happened so many times for most of us—we pounce on the negative thing—that thing not done—and don’t see the thing that was done; the thing done in love!
Here we’re often seen punishing good behaviour, not the bad.
Increasing Our Joy Quotient
We probably know about the Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Emotional Intelligence (EI) and the Spiritual Quotient (SQ), but do we consider the impact and relevance of the Joy Quotient (JQ) in our lives?
A high ‘joy quotient’ is the ability and inclination to see with rose-coloured glasses, though that’s often unfairly derided.
This appreciative viewpoint is good in that it let’s the odd bad thing past without much notice; without grabbing it and fixating on it. It’s a fuller portion of grace for those things.
More and more, in this day, we’re pressed from within and without to establish and maintain better relationships. All relationships need abundant grace. This starts from our prevailing inner joy.
One of the only ways we can achieve this is by looking joyfully at life, noting the good things and undermining our focus the variable not-so-good things. Unless these things call attention to themselves, we’re better to ignore them, showing people more patience.
Joy is God’s power for discernment with correct sight; the Lord’s perspective. Our focus has turned off the miserable—no matter how bad things are—and hope is what joy propels.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.