It had to be because that’s the name of my blog…and I love it! Joy is sometimes treated like a noun–something we seek for. But I think it’s more like a verb. We choose to experience Joy by being aware of all the blessings around us…or we can choose the other option of staying ignorant and believing that Joy is something that comes to us only at certain times when conditions are perfect.
Some of the most Joyful people I’ve ever met had rough–even terrible–circumstances they were suffering through. So if Joy is something you achieve or gain when things are honky-dory, then by that definition those people wouldn’t have Joy.
But they did somehow.
I wrote about Paula who had Multiple Sclerosis and couldn’t even move her head for the last couple years of her life. Yet she was the happiest, most joyful person I ever met. She taught me that Joy is something that comes from within…an action.
Being aware–opening our eyes and heart–help that action called Joy work in our lives. Being aware of others (starting with your own family and branching out); being aware of nature (have you ever noticed the growth of a new seedling, or a few new branches on an old tree you’ve long ago taken for granted?); being aware of yourself (your talents are limitless) and your Creator (our ultimate Joy refueling station). Being aware allows Joy to flow through our veins, wash through our thoughts, and guide our actions.
Side effects of Joy include: gratitude, satisfaction, peace, happiness, contentment, and love (that’s a whole lot better than the side effects of Prescription drugs, which may include: dizziness, nausea, chest pains, heart failure, and other symptoms that aren’t fit to be written because they embarrass me every time I hear them on TV).
In honor of letter J, let us remember that Joy is like Jumping or Juggling, something you must work to DO. Riches, fame, and power don’t bring Joy. We already have Joy inside us. Maybe it’s gone dormant in the storms of life, but we have the power to fan it to life again. Definitely there will be times that seem more Joyful than others (Disneyland comes to mind–if it’s not the middle of summer and the lines are 2 hours long). But we have the power within us to always feel Joy–even when the lines are 2 hours long, or a family member dies, or we suffer from a chronic illness. I’ve seen it done.