Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Return to Joy

Today I had a very interesting conversation with a loved one about the upcoming holidays and something she said struck a real chord in me. We were discussing how she was feeling, and her first comments were how frustrated, angry and annoyed she was. When I asked her what things were happening, all she could list were things that were positive, accomplishments she had made and compliments she had received. Needless to say, the feeling and the experiences didn't jive.

As we talked longer, I gently pointed out how she was having difficulty being in a 'good place' within herself. She wasn't able to accept the joy when she was being so attached to the frustration and old habitual feelings. She then realized that several key happenings had been putting the word 'Joy' right in front of her, but she hadn't seen it until that moment. She said she was remembering that 'joy' is a theme of this holiday season and she was forgetting to re'joy'ce (rejoice). It was like having to put the joy back into the heart space within her where it had been missing, or shoved to one side. She needed to re-' joy' herself.

Rejoicing brought angels to my mind heralding the joy of Christmas. Angels play a large role in my life, always have. They bring me deep joy and a sense of peacefulness in my heart. There's also "Joy to the World", a beautiful song that asks us to 'receive'! What a concept!

I remember when I was finishing college, I had an opportunity to design my own semester of study. One semester I chose to study 'Joy'. I was going to focus for 6 months on this emotion, drawing out all the beauty, understanding its energetic patterns and signature, studying its affects in the heart chakra, etc. Truly, I experienced the worst 6 months of my life.

What I came to know and understand during that time was something I had known in 'theory', but evidently not experientially, was that joy & grief/sorrow, both reside in the heart chakra. They are two sides of the same coin. In order for me to get to the joy, I needed to go through the grief, feel the sorrow and release what I had been holding in my heart.

Did I experience joy during that 6 month study? Not really. I experienced a lot of sorrow, and I learned a lot about joy. But, it wasn't until much later, as I allowed myself to let go of the grief that I had been holding, that I began to feel lighter, happier. Now, years later, I experience joy is so many ways. My heart is definitely lighter and life is so much brighter. It's amazing just how heavy grief is.

What I saw in my loved one as she was realizing her need to re-joy, was a habit playing itself out. She had been so accustomed to things being challenging, frustrating and giving her grief, that she only saw thru those colored glasses. Even when all her experiences were opportunities to feel joy, she couldn't see them because she wasn't looking with 'new eyes'. She was only seeing through her old point of reference. In order to be filled with joy, we must be willing to see with 'new eyes', and allow the lightness to enter our heart and fill us with a bubbly feeling-- truly an experience to 'rejoice' in...

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