After a titillating conversation with my beautiful soul sister @jennamcinnes I marinated on Joy…a lot. I fell into a deep remembrance of different times across my life, when I believed Joy to be present.
We often account Joy as happiness, or thereabouts. But when I truly thought and meditated on Joy I saw it ran far deeper than happiness. And I think for the most part, we have these inklings about certain words. It’s why we search for the exact right word for the moment we are trying to define – at least I do. Because there’s nuance with language – we may not know what the difference is, but we can feel it. I’ll speak for my self, I can feel it. Although, I don’t always know what “it” is that I’m feeling.
For me, I believe joy is not happiness, and I believe it to be different. To me happiness is a fleeting moment, not something you can grasp, and Joy doesn’t quite feel like that to me.
So what is Joy?
When I experienced the remembrance of Joy across my life, I recognized that it was present at some deeply painful moments, and this piqued my curiosity. Often we associate joy with positive experiences. Happiness. Love.
In my heart, I felt that Joy was NOT necessarily the absence of pain. Cue google search, I’m not the first person to say this. No original thought.
I found several quotes from priests and pastors that stated, “Joy is not the absence of pain, it’s the presence of God.”
Or this slight variation, “Joy is not the absence of suffering, it is the presence of God.”
There are a multitude of biblical references on Joy, and there’s plenty of discussion about what it truly means in the traditional religious setting, with many words that I think can be polarizing and create a disconnect from our personal TRUTH: words like Jesus and God.
Whatever your beliefs may be, these words create a mental projection.
My projection has been shifted over the years, but the word God (for me), brings about an image of an omnipotent, male, white being.
What does that word bring up for you?
We live in a systemically racist world, it does not surprise me that this is the image of God my mind conjures.
Now, over the years I have adapted my meaning and understanding of what I believe God to be, and I have found my truth amongst the conditioning. However, that image still exists somewhere in my being.
So what does God mean to me?
Firstly, I don’t like to use the word “God,” for the reasons I mentioned above.
I believe in a grand unifying source. My version of God is the Universe. And I believe we are all a piece of that Universe. And naturally, every THING is a piece of the Universe.
We are a piece of the ultimate puzzle. We are a piece of the collective.
Which means, all things belong. Including you.
Every thing and person is connected. We are all unified in this, together, one way or another.
To be separate, is to forget the truth of the matter.
And how does this relate to Joy?
I’ll share more in an upcoming post! Stay tuned.