The Joy is in the Journey

Deletha Assenmache

by Deletha Assenmacher Assenmache

I have been told that when my parents chose my name, they envisioned it on a brass nameplate mounted on a mahogany office door. They wanted the best for me and taught me to work hard and have a goal; advice which has manifested in what I define as success in my education, career, health, finances, and relationships. While the results look rosy from a high level, a lack of appreciation for the steps along the path led to periods of impatience and frustration as an anxious blur of β€œto do’s” streamed constantly in my head. Delaying celebrations until the goal is achieved caused me to live for tomorrow and miss the significance of today.

Being present and appreciating today requires understanding that all things are temporary. The dark is followed by the light. Today may not be going well, and tomorrow may be better. When things are good, enjoy them because tomorrow may look different. Nothing is permanent. A realistic, positive outlook is key to daily happiness. This is not ignoring reality with syrupy, forced cheer that says through clenched teeth β€œeverything is fine.” It is feeling the full range of emotions, acknowledging them, letting them pass, and then choosing thoughts and actions that feel good.

Positivity is learned and our brains can be re-wired to perceive adversities as opportunities to slow down, reevaluate, and appreciate a sunset or smell the scent of fresh rain. Regular gratitude practices, journaling, positive affirmations, and meditation re-wire our brains to create positive pathways that replace negative ones.

It is empowering to know that positivity is a conscious choice, takes practice, and can be learned. I now intend to find the blessing in each circumstance despite the ups and downs and twists and turns life brings. Appreciation for the journey highlights the splendor of each day and creates quiet satisfaction of a life well-lived. My parents were right. Goals are important and give our lives direction; satisfaction and joy are truly in the journey.


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