Joy! What a wonderful word this is.
I was thinking about it today after I'd posted in The Genius Workshop.
It was a lovely cool morning today after some fabulous rain yesterday (it's been very dry here in S.E. Australia for a number of years), I was walking to work to our wee bakery. My hubby is a pastrycook extraordinaire which may account for my inability to minimise my girth these past 16 years! Hence the walking!
Anyway, I was mulling on the whole concept of Joy. I felt so good today. Despite a restless night last night and an incident where my beloved cat "Billy" decided to throw a coniption fit at 4:30am, which was extremely bizarre and scary to say the least, yet it didn't seem to cast a shadow across my morning. I just felt so... I don't know... Alive!
It was like the kind of feeling you have soon after falling in love for the first time. I've been "in love" with my husband for these past 16 years - and let's just say that some of those years have been conscious decisions to STAY "in love" with him despite our foibles and inconsistencies as people! But the feeling this morning was like re-discovering that glorious sensation of being at one with the world, of being at one with another person; it was a feeling that made the air thrilling to the touch on my skin, of being happier than one had a right to be happy.
It felt so danged good to be alive today.
So what changed?
That confounded, elusive and wonderfully mystical thing called Joy!
As a Christian, I've heard the little ditty along the lines of J.O.Y. = Jesus, Others, Yourself. I've liked that description for many years but unfortunately, it doesn't really count for those around me who don't believe, so it's one of those things I've tended to keep to myself. Basically, for those of you not in on this dogma, it's a christian persons way of saying that true happiness comes from these following priorities. Simple, neat, effective and somewhat exclusive to that most wierdest of clubs - Believers in Christ! :)
Joy for everyone else is more elusive still! There is a generalised world view of joy that implies that personal happiness is also one of personal success and the acquired equanmity that goes with that success.
But it's more than that! Joy isn't "romance". It isn't financial gain. It isn't "stuff". It cannot be bought or sold, traded against or forced into existence. Joy just is! It's not so much a feeling as a condition of the mind (and soul if you're so inclined). It's synergy is part confidence, part good humour, and a unique perspective that says LOVE is the action required here!
Joy isn't just "feeling" happy although happiness is what one may immediately recognise. Joy is the sum of those moments of paradise on earth where life is beautiful and there is a hope to be sought. A knowledge of a wonderful, inspiring, gentle and eternal hope to come. So one can be "down" and still feel joy deep inside the heart. It's a kind of "knowing" that there is something that is more beautifully profound than can be described and it lives deep in the soul.
Happiness is fleeting! Joy is beyond fleeting, it is the stuff of wonderous, wide-eyed, child-like, exploration of ones genius in action!
I had that feeling this morning as I walked in the early autumn sunshine! I had that amazing capacity to "see" the glorious possibility of a positive future.
What a moment to experience!
May you experience Joy this day.