I’m one of those people who can sleep and smile even when the going is at its toughest! My mom and sister get so annoyed with my dad and I for being able to do this, coz it might seem that we are not “worried” about whatever the situation is. I can’t speak on behalf of my dad but the reason for me being able to smile through a rough patch is indeed the writing under my “favourite quote” on my personal Facebook page, which reads:

THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH

… and it really is!

When CUM Books recently sent me a list from which I could choose a few books to review, “Laugh it Up!” screamed at me to put a tick next to it, and then another tick (requesting two means I have to give the other away to one of my readers). I think it’s the subheading that must have been speaking to my spirit: Embrace Freedom and Experience Defiant Joy!

Joy is a topic so close to my heart and I know what it is to experience such, even in trying times where it seems that Joy is unwelcome ; times where you do not dare laugh or experience just a little moment of happiness coz the season you are going through require of you to be morbid.

I’m familiar with the kind of joy that defies circumstance!

The author of the book, which I read in under 3 days, Candace Payne got internet famous when a  4 minute video where she tries on a Chewbacca mask went viral. I haven’t seen one episode of Star Wars so I had to Google this! Guys, this woman has an infectious laugh, like that of my niece. Her uncontrollable laughter alone makes you burst out laughing too.

In this 202-page book she openly shares her journey from being the viral internet sensation “Chewbacca Mom” to way back when she struggled with self-worth issues, extreme poverty, traumatic experiences, and her on-and-off relationship with Joy.

She gave me great insight into characteristics I never knew Joy had. Like, who would’ve thought Joy to be a fighter? And that Joy has an attitude of refusing to co-exist with comparison and shame. I feel like I’m about to give some spoilers so I’ll rather stop right here and head on over to a chapter that resonates so much with the season I find myself in at this very moment.

I think the main reason I chose this book was because of the fact that there are elements trying to steal my joy and I want to protect it, as it is the source of my strength.

Chapter 10: LATER, HATER!

I’m not one of those people who stunts on social media to inform their haters that they are indeed still winning at life. I never even knew I had actual haters that are human. The only haters I am familiar with is procrastination trying to sabotage my journey of pursuing my purpose. Until one night, I received a call from an unknown number …

It was something to 00:00 and I had just said my goodnights to Boyfriend, preparing to do some writing. I answered, coz what if it was an emergency?

I wish I never did.

I immediately shared the details with Laz, who never expects the worst from people. He told me to go back to whatever I was doing coz it was probably just someone who misdialled or decided to have a lil “fun”. Like a prank call. I blocked the number and soon forgot all about it.

A few days after the call I got a text saying “Hey b*tch, we saw you today. You think you’re all that. You’re not even pretty and your writing is not as wonderful either”. I must admit, reading those words hurt! Imagine have I had a low self-esteem and being told by someone that I’m ugly. Imagine have I been insecure about my writing and had not found my voice yet. Imagine the devastation that could have been caused!! I couldn’t believe that there was someone, a whole human being, who made an effort to get my number, take some time and use data on me in an attempt to break me down.

So I found myself being a victim of cyber-bullying. I was never oblivious to the fact that with me being open and vulnerable about my life on this public platform, I am opening myself to critics and backlash of some sort. Even though I knew this was possible, I just didn’t expect it … I guess. I seriously don’t know what I was thinking, coz the topics which I touched on over here is basically an open invitation for people with opposing views to piss on my parade.

Candace experienced a similar type of backlash when she did another video and wrote:

“Unlike critics, these haters aren’t interested in your side of the conversation at all. Rather, they’re raising their voices to shut yours down.”

Close to the end of the chapter she has the reader do an exercise. This is just to help determine whose voices of critique to listen to and value, and whose to dismiss.

I felt that my joy was under siege and Candace, through the epilogue of this book, reminded me that “Joy is not a journey to find and keep, it is a resource that you can replenish”. Joy never runs out! She then encourages her readers to be “FULL OF IT!”

This woman is truly an ambassador for Joy, and you could be too. If you’d like to stand a chance to win yourself a copy of Laugh it Up! Do visit my Pursuing Purpose Facebook Page and tag a friend in the comments under this link.

 

Terms and Conditions: You can only comment once- that is your entry into the draw.  Entries closes 03/03/2018 at 12:00. The competition is only open to people residing in South Africa. Winner to be announced 05/03/2018. Delivery will be made within two weeks of announcing the winner.

 

 

 

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