Monday, September 22, 2014

All Is Well, Happiness, and Joy

Peace Pilgrim once said, "Who could know God and not be joyous?"  When we overcome the illusion of our separation from the divine we find ourselves in joyous contact with the Ultimate Reality from which we spring. This connection frees us from any misunderstanding we might have about ourselves and the nature of life. It allows us to experience joy.  

I first discovered a sense of the divine during my early teenage years when I was with my horse Duchess.  I reveled in the beauty of the natural world, admiring the energy of the trees, the soil, and the air surrounding us.  We can experience this feeling of reverence whenever we are in contact with nature.  

For me the divine is free from association with religion.  It is the ultimate source of the universe and of consciousness.  I like to think of the ultimate mystery as God and that God is the mystery of pure love.  It is the totality of everything.  The illusion of our separation from the divine is the cause of all of our suffering. This is what robs us of our joy. 

Though happiness and joy may seem pretty similar, they are actually quite distinct.  Happiness is an externally based form of pleasure.  We become happy when someone gives us a present or a compliment, or when we find ourselves in a lovely environment.  We take a ride at an amusement park and we laugh. 

On the other hand, joy percolates up from deep within ourselves.  Joy is linked to our sense of "All is Well."  No matter what, we know the rightness of everything.  We feel this way when we are doing what we truly want to do, when we follow our inspirations, when we open our hearts in love.

Everything is a part of the totality and when we know that we are learning and growing, a sense of well-being pervades our every experience.  Years ago a friend of mine shared with me a saying that really knocked my socks off when I first heard it.  "Gratitude is my only reaction."  I see now how very profound this idea is. 

One beautiful way to reconnect with our joy is to take a moment to stop and think, how many times have you brought to your awareness that great mystery, that deep love, that ultimate source of creation?  Have you seen it in the eyes of another?  Have you felt it in the breeze in your hair?  Did you feel it in the sun from the window as it warmed your hand? 

I invite you this week to see how many times a day we can reach for that joy.  Find that connection with something larger than ourselves and just surrender ourselves to it.  Allowing it to cause that deep joy of connectedness, percolating up from the very roots of our being.  

© Josephine Laing, 2014

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