J.O.Y.

Over the past month I've learned that I can be happy and positive throughout trials and hard times. So I thought I better document what I learned so that my future self can be reminded, and also so maybe someone else can learn from my struggle.

My whole life my mom has been teaching me a really simple concept, J.O.Y. Jesus, Others, Yourself.

That is it, super simple. Live life in that order and you'll be happy, you'll have joy in your life. Putting Christ first always seemed second nature. One of my favorite quotes is:


But the "O" is where I really struggled. I hate admitting this but I think I'm inherently self-centered. My parents didn't raise me that way but I think since I moved out when I was 18 I had to start taking care of myself being self-centered started to creep in. The nice thing about this problem is I know it is a problem so I'm good at keeping it at bay. I'd force myself into service opportunities to keep from thinking about me, myself and I too much.

I always saw and felt how those service opportunities helped me feel/be happier but it wasn't till this most recent experience that I realized how thinking about others really makes all the difference. 

Someone very close to me hurt me, very deeply. But from the very beginning all I could think about was how much they had to be hurting because of their decision. I don't know what came over me. My mom's teachings had finally kicked in! I was thinking of them much more then I was thinking of me. And for that reason I was strong, I wasn't a mess and no matter how much it hurt I was happy. 

Now there are many reasons I could list of why I was still happy. From the fact that I knew who I was, from the knowledge that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and was giving me more strength then I deserved, to the fact that I had a family who was praying for me. But for today's purposes we're going to focus on one simple thing. I thought of the person who hurt me first before I thought of myself. 

                                    

This above quote is exactly why I was happy. I was happy because I was serving my Heavenly Father. And in the process of serving Him and thinking of this person first I was able to put my pain aside in order to help them through a tough time. People keep telling me they are so amazed by how well I'm handling the situation. But as I look back I know it is all because of the "J" and the "O". I have no doubt in my mind of this. 

You might ask how does serving others help God, well the answer is this. Our Heavenly Father's purpose is simply to help us return to Him. He needs our help. Actually He could probably do it on His own, but oh how we need to help Him. As we serve others we become more Christlike and draw closer to our Savior, which in turn brings happiness into our life!

This principle is something that I struggle with sometimes, I'm so far from perfect at it. But it is something I'm always striving to work on because I know without a doubt that it is a true principle. 

As we love those who hurt us and put Christ and others first before ourselves we will experience JOY!

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