I sometimes have a tendency to walk on the dark side.
Joy is not the same as pleasure or happiness. A wicked and evil man may have pleasure, while any ordinary mortal is capable of being happy. Pleasure generally comes from things, and always through the senses; happiness comes from humans through fellowship. Joy comes from loving God and neighbor. Pleasure is quick and violent, like a flash of lightning. Joy is steady and abiding, like a fixed star. Pleasure depends on external circumstances, such as money, food, travel, etc. Joy is independent of them, for it comes from a good conscience and love of God.
I believe you can have whatever you really want in this life, in one form or another, sooner or later. All you have to do is take care of your health and be lucky enough to live for a while. But you can't have it all at once and you can't have it forever. No life has the room for everything in it, not on the same day.
Imaginary obstacles are insurmountable. Real ones aren't. But you can't tell the difference when you have no real information. Fear can create even more imaginary obstacles than ignorance can. That's why the smallest step away from speculation and into reality can be an amazing relief. The Reality Solution means: Do it before you're ready.
People have to face regrets. Becoming mature means learning to accept what you cannot change, facing unresolved sorrows and learning to love life as it really happens, not as you would have it happen. When someone attaches unkindness to criticism, she's angry. Angry people need to criticize as an outlet for their anger. That's why you must reject unkind criticism. Unkind criticism is never part of a meaningful critique of you. Its purpose is not to teach or to help, its purpose is to punish. Life isn't supposed to be an all or nothing battle between misery and bliss. Life isn't supposed to be a battle at all. And when it comes to happiness, well, sometimes life is just okay, sometimes it's comfortable, sometimes wonderful, sometimes boring, sometimes unpleasant. When your day's not perfect, it's not a failure or a terrible loss. It's just another day.
Doing is a quantum leap from imagining. Thinking about swimming isn't much like actually getting in the water. Actually getting in the water can take your breath away. The defense force inside of us wants us to be cautious, to stay away from anything as intense as a new kind of action. Its job is to protect us, and it categorically avoids anything resembling danger. But it's often wrong. Anything worth doing is worth doing too soon.