J is for Joy!… Spirituality A to Z

There are numerous ways to stir the Joy within…which we also may call Happiness. Joy is all that, yet a more deep-rooted, more soul-based kind of Happy. Joy is the delight that comes from within and bubbles up on its own. Joy needs no prompting or stimulation to experience. Joy just is.

I’m happy to say that Joy is my authentic nature. And I know it’s the God-nature of everyone, but sometimes we need to look long and hard to see it expressed within ourselves or through other individuals. They may not have found it yet…their natural state of being…Joy…Happiness…Delight.

I once was married to someone who actually got irritated with me because I woke up happy and glowing every morning. I was delighted to be alive and looked forward to the possibilities the day held in store for me. And even though he acted sullen and spewed ridicule in my direction during many of those early morning hours, it did not detract me from staying in a gleeful state. I simply left the house earlier (to go to work). After several years, I left the marriage. The Joy remains.

The difference between being Happy and being Joyful is expressed in numerous ways. Maybe you can relate to some of these examples:

  • Happy – listening to a favorite song on the radio
  • Joyful – listening to a favorite song on the radio and clapping along and moving your body to the rhythm because you have to…and it doesn’t matter who sees you bee-bopping in the car!
  • Happy – noticing your grandchild walk up the driveway as he or she comes for a visit
  • Joyful – noticing your grandchild is now mimicking one of your behaviors…a good one
  • Happy – planting a tree or an herb in your yard or garden
  • Joyful – discovering that what you planted early in the season, while it seemed dead for awhile, actually survived and is growing strong
  • Happy – laying down to rest after a long and productive day, feeling good about what you did
  • Joyful – waking up from a deep and restful sleep, eager to start a new day, a new beginning

Joy is a state of mind, a way of being. It expresses in varied ways…as an eternal Light of God that never goes out, no matter how we try to cover it up with our problems or grumpiness. Joy continues to shine its rays of Happiness and Delight until, finally, we open our eyes to its presence and radiate a Spiritual glow out into our world.

Thank you, God, for this glorious gift! Amen.

Happy Within

Just when I think I might have a challenge coming up with another topic for the week’s blog, I will hear or experience something that removes all doubt and that I MUST share. A few days ago a comment was made about hoping “…this will make them happy.” I shuddered at those words.

Happiness can ONLY be an inside job if it is to have any lasting meaning or significance at all. Certainly there are giggles of delight when someone does a nice thing for you or squeals of surprise when something fun occurs. Those experiences serve to increase the happy feelings and bring them to the emotional surface in a very visible way.

Yet, those reactions are temporary. They fade as quickly as one activity passes on to another or your mood changes. Happiness is yours to express and to share as you wish. YOU get to share it; no one can make you happy. Not really. In fact, you can actually block your own cheerfulness and choose to be in a foul mood, a control technique, of sorts…to damper the spirits and joy of those around you. However, when you carry true joy in your heart and soul, and while you may pause to consider how sad it is that someone you care about doesn’t wish to be happy, their unhappiness is their burden to bear or release as they choose.

I was once in a relationship where the person I was with was actually annoyed that I woke up happy each morning. I was chided for having a smile on my face when I opened my eyes or being upbeat and perky before breakfast. It didn’t matter what I or we were going through in life – and we faced some difficult situations together – it was the only way I knew how to be…happy! Yes, I do express other emotions of disappointment or sadness from time to time, but I always bounce back to and draw from this joyful reservoir. I have come to appreciate my positive disposition. It’s who I Am.

I like to think of true happiness as being this eternal joy that wells up from deep within your soul. You carry it with you always. Like love…peace…compassion…beauty…etc. As you never really run out of these qualities, the only way to not experience them is to not use them…to not acknowledge them. What I have found is that the more you do use, experience and share these eternal qualities, the greater they become as expressions of who you are. Isn’t that wonderful!?

I believe this joy is directly linked to the trust and faith we have in God. The more we can rely on that Higher Power to support and direct our lives, the greater happiness we experience. I know this to be true for me…so it must be possible for you, too. Try it. Don’t worry…be happy.