"As this season of “sparkle and bright” unfolds around us the transforming wonders of joy await discovery like shimmering sugar crystals on a favourite treat.
"May we create joy in all our surroundings as we share gifts, meals, and simple pleasures with family and friends. May the easy gift of a smile bring the power of joy’s touch to those we meet through these busy days. And may we experience the joy of this season as though with the eyes and hearts of children that we might be transfixed by power of what could be."
by Greta Vosper
The word "joy" has taken on a new meaning for me in recent years. As I grow older, and as I struggle through more of life's difficult times, I'm seeing with newer, hopefully wiser eyes what joy is.
I used to think "joy" meant just "being really happy" and I usually thought about it as a feeling that meant that all sadness is gone, and only joy remains. If all the conditions were right, if everything were perfect, then we would be ready to "have joy". So I have usually worked hard during the month of December to make things picture-perfect for my family, thereby creating joy as an outcome. Right?
Um, no. That's kind of a backward, cart before the horse way of thinking. And only through having some troubled times have I learned that.
I've talked a lot on this blog about the two sides of life that exist at the same time: joy and sorrow, light and dark, ease and struggle. Even in the same situation, we can always find both sides, though usually we have to look deeply to find joy amidst a time of sorrow.
To me, "Joy" is that feeling of deep connection to the ultimate source of Love... that feeling of being totally and completely one with the One who gave us life. We can have this feeling when we have a moment of soul-to-soul connection with another person, or when we notice something stunningly beautiful in nature, or when we hear a piece of stirring music. We can find it in a roomful of laughing family, or in the moment when we give freely of ourselves to another person. We can find it in the shared experience of a crowd of people or in the quiet stillness in our soul in the early morning light.
To me, joy is what we feel when we notice the beauty and perfection of this world, even amidst the ugly and profane. Joy is that connected feeling of knowing "I am one with the Source." It can happen at any time, in any circumstance, if we allow it to.
It's my wish that everyone would know the beauty of feeling Joy, through the holiday season and beyond.
May Joy light the world this Christmas.
This week's Advent post is begin published many days late... I trust that readers will understand the spirit even though the timing is off.