Continuing from my previous post…
Now that I have defined Joy and explained how we find it, I need to expound upon it.
This, more than any other topic, is a Church related one, because it’s in the Church that the word is mainly used; and many people are frustrated that they can’t find it.
If it were as simple as I made it sound, than more people would have joy. Because accepting sadness is totally simple…right?
Wrong is probably what you all thought, but actually, it is simple. It’s just not easy.
We run from sadness. From our own and other people’s.
I know people who will cry over nearly every movie they watch, but they don’t talk about what’s going on in their life so much.
I also know people who seem to be perpetually depressed, and by choice, not medical condition; it offends these people if you tell them to cheer up.
You know, Pollyanna actually had a sequel, Pollyanna Grows Up, and in that sequel Pollyanna tells her friend Jimmy about a man she heard say that every time someone said to be glad, he just wanted to go out and shoot someone.
A rather extreme way of reacting, but how many of us have wanted to scream when someone makes light of our sorrow?
Which is the last thing I want to do, I’ve had sorrow too, and I’d be a horrid hypocrite if I pretended it was minor.
I handle sorrow in an unusual way, when I experience real loss, I am oddly unshaken by it. I am sad, but it is not crushing. I suppose it is because I have never lost anyone close to me. Another thing is I constantly hear false alarms, one side of my family is always having one problem or another health wise, but they get over it.
but when I have relational pain, it can be very depressing to me.
I think because all our self worth issues get mixed up in that sort of pain.
I won’t say either type of pain is less selfish, or better than the other, but it is true that the latter often makes us act very selfishly.
The worst is when we don’t feel the pain, but it remains there, undealt with, and affects all our behavior.
Which, if I go back to Inside Out, is what happens to Riley. Though she can’t feel her pain any more, it remains there, buried or lost in the subconscious.
Years of living like this are what make people develop neurosis and sometimes psychosis; it is also the source of anger issues, difficulty in committing, and submitting to abuse because one feel like they deserve it. Pain turned to hate against ourselves is lethal.
And it turns to self hate when we neglect is.
But there is hope. Through counseling, or our own personal journey, we can go back and grieve over what we have lost.
After that process, or even during it, comes the time to have joy again.
There is always a reason to be glad, no matter how bad things are, they are never without some silver lining, but it’s hard to find. Plus that is not exactly joy.
Joy is, as I said before, bittersweet, when it first starts. It begins as the feeling of peace after sorrow, or during sorrow. after you have stopped running from it and have chosen to embrace it.
But one cannot live in sorrow, Ecclesiastes says in chapter 3 that there is a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, there is a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to laugh and a time to weep.
I can’t really explain how you know when the time of mourning is over, I think it comes if you are waiting for it but not rushing it, you just know.
When this time comes, you put away your mourning clothes, so to speak, and you start enjoying things on purpose. You open your heart to new love, you might start a new hobby, or devote more time to an important person in your life. You move on.
It’s okay if it takes a year or two to completely move on, sometimes it takes longer, the idea is never to stay in one place too long, but to keep growing.
I think it has been said that the joy is in the journey, and I think that is true. Joy can be present when you stand still, but usually you need to be in motion.
That’s why joyful people dance, sing, paint, and write; or do whatever they do to express themselves, joy wants to be shared.
In fact if you are hogging your happiness, that’s a sure sign it’s not joy.
We will all run into sadness, but the key is to then run out of it, and leave it far behind. Though we will not forget, nor should we, because the sadness will eventually turn to joy if we are willing.
Those are my thoughts for now, stay joyful–Natasha.