Monday, February 6, 2012

Journey of Joy

A woman once asked me, “How can you be so happy after all you’ve been through?”
So profound was this question, I’m not sure what my response was or if I even had one.
I thought about this question a lot for weeks after it was asked of me. What struck me most was the word ‘happy.’ Happy is not a word I would choose to describe the things I’ve been through. Yet, oddly enough, it is what this woman saw in me. Or is it?
During my thought processes I determined happy is based on happening. Just look at the words; happiness, happening, happy; it seemed to me that happy is a root of happenings and many of the happenings in my life haven’t been happy. Many of the happenings in your life, the lives of others aren’t happy happenings. So what could the woman who asked the question be seeing in me? I decided it had to be joy. For joy, I believe, is ever accessible even in the yuckiest of life’s events, joy abounds.
From the time the question was originally asked, and while there were plenty of happy happenings, the years progressed bringing more difficult times, more challenging life events for me. And these events, occurrences have reinforced within me that what this woman saw, all those years ago, was simply, joy.
Of course I had discussed this topic with my family, even brought it up several times in motivational talks I have given. A few years ago my sister said to me, “…well, at least you have joy.”
This comment was as profound to me. When she said it I heard it in a way in which joy was somehow given to me and not to her, like it missed her genes. As I began to ponder and study this idea of joy, I realized the perception of joy being given to some and not others, is a misinterpretation, a misunderstanding like the misinterpretation of happy actually being joy.
The creation story, told within the Hebrew Text aka the Old Testament, while it is told twice with some differences, it does express the importance, the intensity, and balance of masculine and feminine via a few simple yet impactful verses, “So God created…in the image of God...male and female…God saw everything that He had made…it was very good…God said, the man is become like one of Us, to know good and evil…” (Genesis 1:27, 31 & 3:22)   There is a Latter Day scripture which reads, “…men are that they might have joy.” (2 Nephi 2:25) In Galatians (5:22) joy is given as one of the ‘nutrients’ of the fruit of the Spirit (notice it is fruit singular, not fruits plural so by partaking you ingest all the nutrients of the fruit of the Spirit). More recently I have learned, or I am still learning would be the better way to phrase this, that joy is a ‘lesser’ or ‘minor’ Universal Law  aka Spiritual Law.
I bring this up here, now, because I have been approached many, many times since the original question and my sister’s comment, about how do I ‘bring’ or ‘have’ joy in my life. For the next several weeks it is my intent to touch on this, to offer to you some insight and tools of the things I’ve learned, I am learning, on my journey of joy.
Joy isn’t just in the journey it surrounds the JOurneY. Joy abounds in my life and it abounds in yours as well, really, it does, I promise.
Here’s a little token towards one of the tools. I believe this quote to be spot on correct. Take in every word, let it absorb into your being; believe it, yes, believe it…

“Believe in Loves infinite journey for it is your own, for you are Love, Love is Life.” Rumi

Purely, truly, simply Love Life and you will begin to purely, truly, simply experience Joy.
From my Joyful Heart to Yours!

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