What the heck is joy?
That question definitely challenges me.
Today I set out to defined joy specifically for me. The process took me down a path of memories including pictures that I have taken over the years.
To start I needed to sort out the difference between a number of pleasant emotions that I experience.
I experience gratitude and inner peace. There are times I feel contentment or acceptance, especially when I come through a tough time.
Most days are decorated with moments of gratitude and peace. I go to sleep with the thought that it was a good day to be alive.
I am not sure I would actually describe those days as being filled with joy, though. I wouldn’t call them gloomy or depressing days, but joyous? Hmmmm, that’s iffy.
Joy to me I think is just a bit different than all of those other positive emotions.
For me joy has a quality of delight and innocence.
It feels closer to wonder than to gratitude.
It is closer to seeing something in a brand-new light rather than accepting the nature of what is.
Joy feels awake and tingly.
It feels unburdened by discussion or interpretation or effort.
I don’t have to meditate to get joy. Meditation or correcting my thinking errors may clear the path for me to discover joy, but for me it doesn’t create the joy in and of itself.
Joy almost appears rather than something I have to generate or create.
Or maybe more accurately, I need to be ready and open to seeing and experiencing the joy.
Joy is like the first blooms on Bear Grass opening in the early spring sun.
Joy is like driving around a corner and discovering a hillside of trees in their autumn splendor.
Joy feels like of an ocean breeze on your face or damp sand between your toes.
I like the feeling of Joy! I want more of it.
Note to myself for Day Three:
Tomorrow I need to consider the times and places when joy enveloped me. How old was I? Where did they happen most? What was occurring in my life at those times? What can I learn from those times?
TOMORROW IS A NEW DAY.