wishing you all the best life has to offer
Looking for joy
Every year Lorna chose a word of the year. It was a focus sort of, a goal, a guiding force, a vehicle for the universe to communicate with her.
It was not trivial, oh no. She also found out after several years that it would not always be the obvious lessons learned. Nor would the word only bring good times, no, the universe had other lessons in mind for her. Even a happy word like "happiness" would come to teach her both sides to the coin. What it felt like to be happy, or not be happy, what came from feeling happy, how to do it, what the lack felt like, etc.
She had struggled nearly all her life, to survive. She was tired. She thought if one more person said, "look at the bright side!" when disaster fell on her, she may shatter into a million pieces. Yes, of course, things could always be worse. She was aware enough to know, even if they could be worse, they were bad enough as is.
After a while, she wondered if looking at the good side was a form of denial, a way to avoid dealing with the sad side of life.
Hope springs eternal though. When hope leaves there is only darkness left behind. The human spirit needs hope like air, water, and nourishment.
So, if she picked JOY this year, would she feel the joy she longed for? She was not new here... the year she chose self esteem it never manifested, she only learned she had to form it from within and she didn't have the building blocks.
So, Joy... was this her word?
Joy walked behind Hope... could you ever seek it, or must you wait for it to land on you like a butterfly? Could it be manufactured? Created by thinking a certain way? She was so tired... she didn't have the energy inside to create it. She didn't even know the ingredients to gather to form it. Or if it could be formed by will. Wouldn't that be fake?
She would start by observing Joy in others. Noting how it showed on their faces, or watching little humans under the age of 2 (when the word NO took over) seemed to feel joy, or the look on a dog's face when it's given a chew toy or sees it's human coming. Joy was illusive, and dropped in unannounced. It was surprising, and untouchable. It brought with it hope of good things to come.
She thought to when she had ever felt joy... yes it's a good thing. When she found the missing keys that time! (in the fridge) and when she picked up her new puppy, leaving together with all the joy of connection in place. She felt joy when that special guy said he loved her... again a connection of spirit. She remembered when she saw a quilt she made hanging at a big show with a ribbon on it! Unexpected happiness... Joy. Joy is not just relief, like a knife being dropped and missing one's foot. It's not contentment like coming into a warm house from a cold walk to smell dinner cooking. Joy wasn't the same as good feelings that grew.
It tapped you on the shoulder! It landed on you like the butterfly, out of the blue! It won't be ignored or unnoticed... it made an entrance!
One can't live in a perpetual state of Joy, it would lose the luster. No, it was illusive, and surprising and unmistakable when it showed up. It was the star of the show. It was not to be stalked or sought, it couldn't be preserved in a jar for when you needed it, or conjured up with the right ingredients
It was simply a gift
She decided to choose a different word, but she would keep her eyes open this year for Joy when it arrived, welcome it in, provide a place for it to live inside her, alongside hope