Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.
Everyday I talk to people who only see the bad in life – they complain about how hot it is, or how cold it is, or it’s raining, or they’re late for work and it’s all someone else’s fault (sometimes it is, sometimes its’ not) or the cashier didn’t smile or the bills aren’t paid or, or, or, I could go on but I won’t. And, sometimes life does suck. But that doesn’t mean we are bound to a joyless life.
Regardless of the circumstances, whether I am filled with joy or not all depends on my attitude and how I look at my life. I am not equating joy with happiness. Happiness is fleeting, based on emotions and circumstances. I am very happy when its’ my birthday or I get to spend time with my family. I am very happy when I get paid and I have a little money left over to buy some books. I am really happy when I have a bowl of my favorite ice cream! But none of those things brings me joy.
Joy is internal; it is peace in the midst of a storm; it is a calm reassurance that no matter how bad the world looks right now, all will be well; it is gratitude; it is love; it is faith; and unlike fly-away happiness, it is constant. Joy is unwavering, we only need to tap into it and allow it to fill us up even when life sucks.