Joy Is a Gift: Get Yours Today!
Joy is a gift?
I was lazing around one afternoon watching television when I saw this McDonald’s commercial. (Watch the video above to see it) It caught my attention when it said, “Joy is a Gift.” I began to contemplate this notion. Then the commercial followed up their bold statement with the image of a happy meal box and said, “And this is the box it comes in.”
What?! Joy? Happiness?
Something we all strive for? Such a significant part of our lives? The very thing that seems so elusive to so many with depression, anxiety, grief, and other hardships – comes in a happy meal box?
Is that to say McDonald’s is the secret to having this wonderful gift of joy?!!!
I found the answer!
I am so excited to tell my clients who have been suffering from depression that I found the answer while watching TV. And it will cost less than $5.
Stop wasting your time and money on therapy, just go down to your nearest McDonald’s and ask for a happy meal! Make sure it comes in the red box with the yellow smile emblem because that is box joy comes in.
As I imagine going to over to my nearest McDonald’s I begin to wonder…
What if they don’t have the right box? Is it any happy meal box or just that red one? What if I get one of those happy meal bags, do I still get my gift of joy?
Crap! Maybe if I go and ask for the box of joy they will know what I am talking about and give me the right one, but what if they don’t have anymore?
What happens if joy only comes in the one box they showed on the commercial? Only one box – who gets it then?
What is going to happen when everyone in search of joy goes to McDonald’s expecting their gift of joy and it is not there? What do they get then?
The gift of disappointment?
Of feeling like a failure?
Maybe anger, frustration?
Perhaps the gift of feeling like the pursuit of happiness and joy is one they will never attain?
What significance this commercial actually has for our lives.
This commercial is a perfect illustration of the cultural notion that buying things and receiving things, (objects, the right food, material possessions) will bring us joy.
The idea, that if we just go to the right places and give the right people money, joy will be handed right over.
The media does this to us all the time. It has done so for most of our lives. Leading us to believe that all we have to do to be happy is to buy a product. Beer, cars, toys, clothes, the right cable service, the list goes on and on.
What is joy?
Where does it really come from? Is it a momentary sensation that we experience at periodic times in our lives? Or is it something that always exists in us? Perhaps it just lies latent during times of struggle? Are we ultimately even capable of having joy?
Like that McDonald’s commercial, our western culture gives us the idea that if we work hard enough and become successful enough to constantly buy things we will most certainly find happiness and joy.
It is always – just one more thing that is missing – just one more item you will need to buy.
But what is the truth?
If we work hard enough in order to fulfill cultural expectations will we really be happy and have joy?
In my experience, that is probably the furthest thing from the truth. What I have seen, is people working extremely hard. So caught up in their pursuit, they end up missing it and instead find disappointment, that no matter how hard they try it just isn’t enough, a sense of guilt, worthlessness, and powerlessness.
They feel like failures and losers. All because the media has created a culture that fosters the idea that happiness and joy is really easy to get (if you have enough money to buy it), yet no matter how hard they try it never really comes.
Too many of us turn this disappointment inward, blaming ourselves – resulting in depression and anxiety.
So what can we do?
Speaking for myself, I do not find joy in a happy meal box.
I find that in order to truly experience joy it has to come from me. It is already there, oftentimes I just need a change of perspective.
Perhaps “Joy is a Gift” should mean it is a gift from ourselves. As joy is not really a gift; it is a God-given right for us all.
If we can open our minds and hearts to accept that we are deserving of love and happiness, fill our days with gratitude, and focus on the beauty of our spiritual nature – joy is certain to follow.
If you do not get the perfect job, if your child does not behave the way you want, if things just don’t happen the way you wish, or you never get to buy that car you’ve always wanted; does that mean you cannot experience joy?
What if joy is in the places you are not looking, such as in your child’s smile, or the softness of their hand as you hold it to cross the street. Maybe joy is found sitting in the park on a summer day feeling the breeze softly blowing across your face, or in a bubble bath filled with warmth and the scent of lavender, or simply lying in bed next to your partner after a long day.
If joy is, in fact, a gift, perhaps it is these experiences that are the real gift.
If we are too busy trying to obtain it through hard work, the way the media and culture has fooled us into thinking, we are likely to never find it, and worse find the opposite instead.
Take a moment now, to do an inventory of what you are grateful for and let yourself get carried away in the moment of experiencing the joy these things bring to you. Start your day off each morning with gratitude for the now. Then notice how your days become better, easier, and filled with more of the joy that you deserve.
Where does your gift of joy and happiness come from? Share your thoughts with others and leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you! <3