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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Find and Express Your Joy

Find and Express Your Joy

Aya Fubara Eneli, M.A., J.D. AYA ENELI

In my house, peals of laughter can be heard ringing out of just about every nook and cranny. I have five children and they never need an excuse to let out loud, boisterous, infectious laughter. Honestly, sometimes, the ‘excessive’ laughter grates on my nerves, but then I think, “What’s my problem? Why am I begrudging them their joy?”
Joy is defined as a state of happiness, a feeling of gladness, an expression of pleasure brought on by something or someone. As I go about my daily business and chores, it appears to me that too many of us have lost our sense of joy. We walk around with grim faces and sour dispositions. Somewhere, someone convinced us that the meaner we look and feel, the more we will accomplish. But that is surely a lie from the pit of hell itself. We also tend to believe that if bad things have happened in our lives, that gives us permission to live without joy.
I recall losing a close mentor a few years ago. It was the day after Thanksgiving Day when I found out that my Aunty Malikah went to be with the Lord. I met her as a 19-year-old college student and she immediately took me under her wing, loved, supported, taught and encouraged me. She became a part of my family and played a prominent role in my wedding ceremony. Our relationship spanned 23 years and I always knew I could count on her.
Her death hit me a lot harder than I had anticipated. Barely a week prior, I had flown to the city where she was hospitalized and spent the day with her, but I never thought it would be the last time I would see her. I was overcome with a deep sadness that just weighed me down. Every and anything triggered the waterworks. After crying myself into a migraine on the day of her burial, I knew it was time to snap out of it. We had too many great times for me to choose to now wallow in despair. I could hear her say, “Inshallah, while you have life, you better live. You have work to do and sitting here feeling sorry for yourself just makes no sense at all.” I knew it was time to re-claim my joy.
There is no time like the present to lighten up and re-discover the joy in your life. What burdens do you currently bear that have stolen your joy? When has sadness brought you anything besides sickness in mind and body, loss of friends and companionship, and loss of opportunities?
Joy on the other hand, will bring wellness to your spirit, mind and body. Joy strengthens. Joy allows us to see the possibilities in every circumstance. Joy ushers us into the presence of greatness. And joy is readily available whenever we so choose to grasp it. It is all around us, if we care to seek it.
It is in the flowers gently bobbing in the wind. It is in the ripples across the surface of the water jiggling like a giggling baby. It is in the flight of birds across a blue sky. It is in the sun playing hide and seek with the clouds. It is in a hug or a fist bump. It is in sticky little fingers reaching up to grab your face. It’s in the happy way of a tail.
Bruce Larsen tells the story of a conference at a Presbyterian church in Omaha. “People were given helium filled balloons and told to release them at some point in the service when they felt like expressing the joy in their hearts. All through the service balloons ascended, but when it was over 1/3 of the balloons were unreleased.” What was holding the 1/3 back from expressing joy? What is holding you back?
Determine today to begin living each moment with as much joy as you can squeeze out of it. Smile broadly just because. Say hello to others. Laugh at jokes no matter how silly. Speak the compliment, don’t just think it. Dance to the music in your head. Express your joy! Rejoice!!!
Aya Fubara Eneli is a best-selling author, Christian Life Coach, Motivational Speaker and Attorney. Her life’s purpose is to empower and equip people to live up to their highest potential. She and her husband live in Central Texas with their five miraculous children. For more information, visit, follow her on twitter @ayaeneli or e-mail her at


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