I developed a technique called the “Joy Sentence Test,” to help in situations when joy is hard to recognize.
Joy Sentence Test
Take any troubling thought or sentence and shift your focus from the distressing part to the joy part: From net to wings. Actually or symbolically highlight the joy part and un-highlight the troubling part. If a joy part of the sentence doesn’t exist, then add one.
I try to help people add a joy part to a troubling thought or sentence when they’re ready. Obviously this is more difficult to do when faced with a devastating situation or tragic loss. In these cases, choosing joy could take years or even decades. But joy is always an option and a very personal matter.
Kelly and I applied the “Joy sentence test” to a situation that was bothering her in one of our sessions: “My new husband’s x-wife is driving me crazy.” When I heard this I imagined the “Chatty Cathy’s” I met in England leaning over to Kelly and saying, “How wonderful, dear, that you have a new husband. How delightful. Well done!” They would have artfully highlighted her new husband and nudged his x-wife into the background.
Related Slice-of-Love Stories:
On Parenting: Sweetest Cupcakes Never Eaten
On Dogs: Gracie and Bella
On Life: Joy Button (c0ming 6-9-10)