The reason I capitalize Joy when I’m writing about Peace is because I’m writing about something larger than small joys.
Some reading helped me to discern how real that distinction might be. In particular, I was wondering if people with depression can experience Joy. Although depression means a lessening of possibility to experience Joy/joys, there can still be a place for it.
In particular, I’m referring to a focus on those things that make me feel particularly alive. For me, that is being in what scriptures refer to as Living Water. It’s a challenge for me right now that the temperatures have dropped and I am not walking in the water. I haven’t replaced that yet, neither the exercise nor the experience.
Without the real-time experience, I have to envision what it was like to move in that lake with the sun warm on my shoulders, and the cloud reflections rippling away from them. My depression is at a very low level at this moment (oh, Hoorah! Hooray!), so I can still capture that experience in my body. If, however, I don’t deliberately choose to replace that exercise and find myself another outside experience, it will not be surprising to find myself struggling emotionally. My depression is situational, not ongoing. I don’t say this lightly.
I do know that, if I can get myself out the door to greet the Magnificance, whether during the Light or the Dark of the day, I do better. And, if I can sit quietly for just a few moments and touch that thing of Joy, even intellectually, the grounding helps.
Not everyone suffers with depression, although far too many people do and that number has drastically increased as a result of the Pandemic. For those who do, please find the professional support you need to talk through your emotions and perhaps adjust your chemistry. For the rest of us, it is our responsibility to find what motivates us and allow ourselves to experience the deep and abiding rightness of that thing, the sense of being that we feel in that experience, and the overwhelming delight in the face of our Joy.
Finding Joy and cherishing it is a spiritual responsibility. Touching our own personal well-spring of Joy — in whatever way we do — allows us to be the person we’re meant to be. It also helps us stumble across the little joys and delights because we’re open to them. Open to being awed, swept away, and Joyful. What a sensibility to start our days with, eh?
What is your deepest Joy? Let me know. Until we meet again, I can envision you filling your aura up with Joy and Delight. Wouldn’t a great number of joyful people just light up the world?
Salaam, Shalom, Peace. Blessed be.