08 Jun all about joy
What brings me joy? For much of my life I had no idea what joy actually meant. Was it happiness, was it pleasure, perhaps it was more of an absence of fear, pain, boredom or even confusion.
I remember Christmas as a child, listening to a quartet of mellifluous voices that belonged to my mother, father, aunt and uncle practicing Christmas carols into the night, most especially the Christmas carol “Joy to the World” to sing at various orphanages during the Yuletide. I would curl up somewhere close by or in my bed, feeling as though I was all wrapped up in a blanket of musical warmth and tired contentment. Were these moments of joy?
Or was it those times when the deluge of the monsoon rains beat upon the roof of our house, whilst I adventured warm and dry with Enid Blyton’s Famous Five or Secret Seven or hiding from the world under the staircase, snuggled upon cushions with a bunch of my favourite comic-book characters like the Phantom, or Casper, Archie or Sad Sack. Perhaps that was a young girl’s definition of joy.
It seemed to me the older I got the less joy I experienced from simple things looking more and more for praise and approval, for achievement and admiration in the belief that therein lay my joy.
Then there was the joy in the satisfaction derived from working, earning and supporting myself. The joy in my children, in my partnership, the joy in friendships, in my ongoing passion of books and the written word, in nature, by the water and amongst the trees, in new experiences and in the deeply rewarding journey of self-discovery.
Nevertheless, it was some time before I began to wonder why I would, for instance, experience joy in a sunset or the taste of my favourite fruit on one day and then on another completely ignore the sunset and turn away from the sweetest of mother nature’s offerings. Why was it that things were sometimes enjoyable and sometimes not?
As I looked more closely at both of these experiences, I began to realize that my joy had nothing to do with the object I was enjoying, neither did it have anything to do with another’s favourable response to my actions, nor did it have to do with any external experience. It had absolutely nothing to do with outer circumstances and everything to do with my inner responses and the way I was meeting life.
I was the common denominator and I could be either the holder or the withholder of joy. I had a choice to either bring my joy to whatever or whomever I was engaging with or sit there holding something or someone other than myself responsible for my enjoyment. My expectations of course consistently brought about feelings of disappointment and frustration.
So, I began to consciously choose to be present to and love whatever I was doing, choosing to love and joy in the person I was with, to be comfortable within myself, to have fun in every moment, and to do more of the things that interested and excited me. In committing myself to this venture I discovered that I was experiencing more joy than I ever had in all of my life.
It was I who was bringing joy into each moment.
I wish for you the very same, the wonderful journey of discovering that you are the joy you bring to the world.
Posted by Sa Silvano on 7th June 2019