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Joy does not become elusive to people. People choose to elude joy and God, for that matter. I remember how Jennifer Aniston’s character in the movie “The Good Girl” resented her lady friend’s consistent cheerfulness by saying: “I wonder what the h--- that woman is so d--- happy about.” It’s easy to be trapped in such kind of attitude if we aren’t careful. If there is any chance of overcoming despondency, we need to welcome and appreciate having joy in our hearts and in others’ too, and this cannot begin without conscious intention and effort. Though a person cannot just ‘snap out of’ his gloom anymore than he can just stop a cancer patient from having cancer, he can decide to overcome it. Psychology Today, in its article “A Case of Catch-22”, emphasized that recovery from depression “involves a series of hard choices like choosing to get out of bed, choosing to eat, choosing to stop ruminating, choosing to shift attention from negative thoughts to at least neutral ones, etcetera, over a long period of time…” God’s will is for us to be free from discouragement and its consequences, but He cannot help us if we do not let Him—that is, if we choose to hold on to and drown ourselves in our misery. The hardest battle lies in electing to take the road to healing. Though the destination is usually not reachable overnight, the initial step counts a lot.

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