Kwento Kwentuhan

Joy in 2023

Liza A Pierce of “A Maui Blog”

Happy New Year! By the time you are reading this column we are about two or three weeks into 2023. How is your new year going so far?

If you have read Kwentu-Kwentuhan here at The Fil-Am Voice, you know at the start of the year I choose a “Word For The Year” to be my intention and guide for the year. This year that word is JOY!

When I walk on the beaches of Maui, I think of Joy. Wishing you all a joyful 2023.

More than ever, I feel JOY is needed in our lives. When we look at the news today it can be discouraging and depressing. When we look around, there are many people with heavy hearts. While I am not suggesting we go in a state of denial or false positivity and just simply say “Don’t worry, be happy” all the time, I feel understanding what it means to be “joyful in all circumstances” and applying that in our lives do matter and will help make a difference. Do you also want to learn more about JOY in 2023? Let’s dive into it.

What is JOY?

In Brene Bworen’s latest book titled Atlas of the Heart, she writes she loves thinking of JOY as “the good mood of the soul.” She defines JOY as an intense feeling of deep spiritual connection, pleasure and appreciation.

Why Choose JOY?

JOY helps us get through tough times in our lives. In the book Laugh Again by Charles Swindoll, he shares this story about Mother Teresa:

Someone asked Mother Theresa what the job description was for anyone who might wish to work alongside her in the grimy streets and narrow alleys of Calcutta. Without hesitation she mentioned only two things: the desire to work hard and a joyful attitude.

Swindoll continues, saying both of those qualities are rare. But the second (JOY) is much rarer than the first. Diligence may be difficult to find but compared to an attitude of genuine JOY, hardwork is common place.

This reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses, in Nehemiah, when God reminded us the JOY of the Lord is our strength.

Joy is a choice we must make each day

Comparison is the Thief of JOY

One major cause of the lack of JOY in our lives is comparison. In this era of social media, we are exposed to many highlight reels of life and can easily fall into comparision. Then we feel sorry for ourselves for not having enough, for not being as beautiful, for not being able to travel and so on. An antidote to comparison is gratitude. Many researchers describe the relationship between joy and gratitude as an “intriguing upward spiral.” In the book Atlas of the Heart, it explains how this spiral goes:

Gratitude predicts greater future experiences of in-the-moment JOY
JOY predicts greater future experiences of in-the-moment Gratitude
And dispositional or situational JOY predicts greater future subjective well-being.
It all spirals up.

JOY in 2023

So, yes, I am choosing to be joyful in 2023! How about you? What are you choosing to be in 2023? There are many traits to choose from, there are many paths to take. As for me, I am choosing JOY. May you choose the path that will bring you a prosperous, happy new year. We at The Fil-Am Voice are wishing you the best in 2023!

Liza Pierce of A Maui Blog is an Interactive Media enthusiast. She started blogging in 2006 and she loves talking story online and spreading aloha around the world. She’s been living on Maui since 1994 and considers Maui her home. A wife, a mother, a friend … and so much more. She loves Jesus; Maui Sunsets Catcher; Crazy About Rainbow; End Alzheimer’s Advocate. Her life is full and exciting here on the island of Maui. Liza is currently the Digital Media Specialist with Hawai‘i Life Real Estate Brokers. She is the author of the book Maui 2021 and Beyond.