This is not how I would have defined joy. I think it’s so much more than that. It reaches far deeper than just feeling happy.
Happiness, in my view is a reaction to events that are unfolding or remembered. It is a wonderful feeling. Just as sadness is a reaction to events. These are emotional responses.
I think of joy as more of an attitude and a way we can approach life.
Joy is what we have when we learn to find the good in all things. When we live in gratitude, we cultivate joy.
Joy comes from the wisdom to know the difference between what matters and what can be released back to the universe.
A few years ago I learned how joy can be found even in the midst of the worst experiences. Actually I should scrap that…it isn’t found, in all truth it is really brought with you because it comes from deep within us.
Someone very close to me passed away quite suddenly. I had never experienced such incredible depths of pain in my life. The emptiness, loss and grief were almost too much to handle. And yet, I was in such gratitude for the time we did have together, the lessons taught, the love freely given. It was then I realized that the reason the loss hurt so much was because of all that I had been blessed with.
There was joy in that.
When you hold joy in your heart it’s much easier to be grateful and to live in the present. There were times when I was physically unable to work due to a car accident that I wasn’t sure how I would eat. Sometimes people asked me how I could still have such a good attitude towards life.
The truth is I think we all have to head down our own roads and along the way we are going to have some dark nights. I heard someone say that we all take a trip down the rabbit hole at some point and I kind of love that expression.
You have choice just like Alice did when she went down the rabbit hole and had to wander in Wonderland. She had many times when the choice was to do nothing and stay stuck, or eat the cookie and see what happens.
I think when you approach life with an attitude of joy, you would eat the cookie. You realize life happens and there is a lot of opportunity to experiment with it if you only have some faith in yourself and in that the world is essentially a good place with lots of wonderful people in it.
Joyful people talk and act differently. They approach everything they do with a positive attitude, even the hard things. They build people up rather than tear them down and speak in an uplifting way. They live from a place of love rather than fear.
You see ‘joy’ is within us. It’s a choice, a lifestyle even. When we take our trip down the rabbit hole, we bring it with us and we only have to choose to embrace it. This is why some people can find peace even among chaos.
It’s my thinking that being able to hold joy in your heart is a sort of wisdom; a deeper understanding of the connectedness of life and all that is in it.
What would it mean for you to make a commitment to choosing to live with an attitude of joy?