"There is nothing as free or freeing
as the exquisite joy of gratitude."
-- Terry Minion
I like how Karl Barth expressed joy: "Joy is the simplest form of gratitude." It is. I don't just believe this, I know it. I also know that there is no thing that has changed my life more for the better than becoming a grateful person, giving thanks all day, every day, and the more I do, the more joy appears in my life.
Happiness is cool, but joy is like happiness on steroids. Happiness is like a smile, and joy is like jumping up and down inside, rolling down the hill, skateboarding down the mountain, skydiving through billowing white clouds feeling the moisture and exhilaration. Joy cannot be contained completely. It must express itself. If nowhere else, then in our aura.
I've heard people say, or have seen it in writing that we can't go around being joyful all the time. Or, that joy is only meaningful compared to sorrow, or despair. Well, I certainly allow them their point of view; however, I do not share it. I do not need sadness to know the value of joy in my life. I've experienced sadness, sorrow, despair, and much more in times long gone, but they have only one thing to do with my joy today, and that is that I accept the responsibility and result of making choices of what I think and focus on.
Today, I see there is sadness, despair, and pain in the world, but I realize that this is their choice, not mine. They may choose as they will. We all have the power of choice. I choose otherwise now. I learned from trial and error that as I am grateful, or as I give thanks, to God, and to others, I experience joy. I have also learned that joy has many, many levels. Joy is a full-spectrum feeling. What started as a small amount of joy; albeit, oh so good, has become something I live in every single day now. And, I play around in it, finding ever more to be grateful for, to express my thanks for, and receiving ever more joy.
If I made a list of the things that I express gratitude for and find joy in, each day would fill a notebook.
This morning I walked out to get the Sunday paper and I heard what seemed like hundreds of birds singing. I saw birds chasing each other in the tree (it is still Spring!), feeling the cool air caressing my skin, enjoying the blue sky and the early sun rising, my favorite and delightfully tuned windchime tickling the notes with the softest touch. I walked and looked at my lawn, stared at the old tree in my front yard, walked to it and put my hand against the trunk feeling its strength, and in all giving thanks for this place and these plants and trees. Then I walked back into my office/library/music room/theater/main living area, giving thanks for everything here, for Charlie, my constant friend, and the list just keeps going all day long. That's only about 8 minutes of my morning. . .
I never tire of giving thanks. I never tire of receiving joy. I never tire of learning and enjoying. It really has become 'heaven on earth' to me. If there is such a place as heaven, I am in it now.
The Kingdom Of Heaven Is Within.
Spread Some Joy Today--You can't help it when you have joy. It is impossible to hide. And, why would one want to?