The other day I posted this comment on my personal FB page: “How would your life be different if joy was your priority?” Many liked & loved, yet this was the only comment: “My belief is that our culture is overly wrought with the attainment of joy and happiness. And it spawns so much dissatisfaction, discontent, materialism, and unhappiness. My goal is acceptance, equanimity, and peace. When I am present in this way, contentment follows and often joy, but I would not say they are the priority. When I made joy a priority so much of my self was compromised in that quest.”
For the foundation of this interaction, I do know this person who wrote this comment and we have worked together twice, but she is not an active part of my ministry. I instantly admired her strong voice and ability to state her beliefs, and they reflect what I felt was a very different expression than mine. I chose to not comment on her comment. My experience is to let conflicting comments be, and input keeps it going. For me, it always works into an experience I wish I never fed. I respect her, I love her, we each have our own eyes. These conflicting moments, (for me) are the crossroads as I refer to them, are where we grow, expand and come to know ourselves more deeply. After I recognized my gut felt suckered punched, (someone disagrees with me!! oh my!! My ego!!) I went into my own heart and asked why. I first saw that perhaps this comment I made was better suited for my ministerial page. Then I said no, joy is joy. And then it hit me; we even have to redefine the word joy.
I still go for joy. We each, as we know, only see through our own eyes and I can only guess what her perspective is. I only know my own. For me, joy is of God.
Many (!!) years ago a God Sister gave me a holiday card with this quote on the front. I still have it. Taped above my kitchen sink. A little worn, and in my face each day.
I see joy & happiness as two totally different experiences and vibrations. Happy is fleeting. It comes from an exterior experience of either validation from another or a material venue. These, are in the shallow end of the pool, momentary, short lived, no roots.
I see joy has having depth, deep roots. I seek the joy of God, my spiritual quest – in prayer, in witnessing others, in walking beloveds home, in supporting minds, hearts and bodies to heal, in authenticity. I seek to be aware of the deep, palpable feeling of the Presence of Holy Spirit in my body every moment, the moments that either breathe deeply or actually take our breath away. Can we live there? I do not think so. BUT, we can expect them, seek them, intend them, look for them.
I think of the whirling Dervish……and the blissfulness reached as they dance for God. I believe that when we reach for joy with God as our compass, absolutely nothing is compromised, material, selfish or shallow – all is peaceful, accepting & loving.
JOY is the inner feeling one has. I can have it in a silent moment smiling with a stranger. JOY is the palpable experience of our innate GOD awareness through love.
She is correct, the comment author, “My belief is that our culture is overly wrought with the attainment of joy and happiness. And it spawns so much dissatisfaction, discontent, materialism, and unhappiness.” Looking for love in all the wrong places, when ones search for joy brings about anything but the palpable awareness of God.
shared with love to all & gratitude to my well spoken friend.