Pondering Joy

It’s short and sweet. We don’t really need a dictionary to understand the definition of joy because we’ve all felt that beautiful emotional state. Perhaps you felt joy when you’ve achieved a hard-won goal. You might feel this blissful state of mind when in the presence of a particularly spectacular sunset. I like to think of joy as “peak happiness”.

Joy might be felt when we let go of all judgment and simply experience the full majesty of a crystal clear winter sky for what it is without adding extra thoughts. We can feel joy when in the company of a close friend or lover. The triumph of goodness over evil. Joy accompanies the flash of an epiphany.

How many of us also know that joy can be used as a verb? This is an arcane, antiquated form of the word that looks and sounds awkward to our contemporary minds. Joy as a verb looks like this in a sentence: Conrad appeared to joy spontaneously over Andrew’s footrace victory.

Sadly, the verb form of joy has fallen into neglect and is usually only found in antique texts. Today, the verb joy is archaic and obsolete. That’s why it seems out of place used in the example of Conrad enjoying Andrew’s win.

I wonder if the verb form of joy will ever make a comeback. I think it would be wonderful if the verb joy could be as popular as the verb form of love. Using the noun and the verb forms of love can be personal expressions of the joy we feel about living.

As a noun, joy is an emotion we love to experience. Joy is an overwhelming feeling of lightheartedness, peace, and connection with the Universe. When we try to explain and define joy, joy is diminished. So, it is best not to over-think joy when we feel it. Joy is best when we let go and simply allow it to bloom.

It’s good to take an inventory of what brings us joy. A few of the things that bring me joy include: children’s laughter when they play with their peers, being engrossed in a well-written book, watching the Sun appear on the horizon in a partly cloudy sky, engaging in a philosophical conversation with a close friend, seeing snow-cover after a blizzard has ended, looking deeply into my lover’s eyes, and listening to the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony cranked up to full-blast on the stereo with my eyes closed.

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”–Franklin D. Roosevelt

If you engage in a sport, a favorite pastime, hobby, or satisfying career, the Roosevelt quote hits home. When you’re fully engaged in the activity, there is a Zen-like joy that enhances whatever it is you’re doing. Some people have jobs that they would do even if they didn’t get paid for doing them. Of course, receiving remuneration can also bring us joy.

I’ll keep this post short by summarizing my view of joy. Joy is living life when we really let go of our limiting beliefs then fully experience possibilities. The sky and beyond are the pathways to opportunities for joy.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes the Dutch Roman Catholic theologian Henri Nouwen. “Each day holds a surprise, but only if we expect it can. We see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Friendship, Health, Hobbies, religion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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