And I Choose Joy Above All Else!

Veera is a published Author (‘Endured’ and ‘#LoveBitesLifeHacks’) and Columnist; a passionate Educator and Counsellor; Poet and Philosopher… but most of all, a lover of all things literary.

It’s astonishing how little we credit Joy! Joy is a state of mind. It’s neither temperamental nor conditional like happiness can be. The two have fuzzy lines between them, but Joy somehow seems the real deal. These days, few know how to carve joy in their world. Joy is momentary and comes from an intense, instantaneous feeling of strong positive emotions… something that can make you burst into a smile or laughter – like your dog at play, a lover’s kiss, the feel of waves surfing your feet. 

Joy is tiny but visceral, little moments that bring you to life lead us into great moments of happiness. Undoubtedly, joy is vital to our lives. In lumping joy with happiness, we discredit its meritorious quality and discerning tenure in our lives. It is often thought of as a frivolous and hokey sentiment dodging about on the heels of happiness… a squishy concept spoken in Sunday mass or expressed in self-help books angling to convert our cynical souls into believing it exists somewhere, within the peripheries our existence… if only we choose to see and embrace it! 

In present times, we have accepted that life is all about being happy with the occasional blips of sadness. We learn to struggle and achieve, pursue and embark facing obstacles, defeat and disappointments, as part of our daily existence. We have indeed given up on joy. It’s a concept now, more a rhetoric of an imaginary perfect life that escapes us and our rather disillusioned generation. We are not joyful enough, not often enough. It’s not that we are unhappy, but we choose to be cynics and naysayers. It’s not like we don’t have our moments, it’s just that we’ve become allergic to the idea of happiness as anything but shorthand for some vague and abstract notion of contentment. Being happy is great, but it’s also nebulous and lava-heavy.

To arrive at happiness, we all need moments of joy. Joy often comes from encounters with people. Joy is helium balloons floating in the air, rainbows and raindrops, pops of colour and lingering taste. In seeking happiness as an abstract holistic pursuit, we are never in any danger of having too many joyful moments or spaces. 

We live our lives over time, but sometimes we are in danger of being happy only in retrospect, as we reflect upon the moments and encounters that attributed to it. Only then do we realise how noteworthy, how important our little moments really were.  At all times, those tiny little pockets of sunshine that dazzled you, need to be wrapped up in tidy packets of joy. This could well set you on your way to happiness. Credit joy a little more! There’s enough research to prove how joy boosts our immune system, fights stress and pain and significantly improves our chances of living a healthier and happier life.

Experiencing happiness depends on external factors. Happiness happens to us. Even though we seek it, desire it pursue it, feeling happiness is not a choice we make. Joy is a choice. Joy is a fruit of the spirit, of the soul. When we find joy more often, it is infused with comfort and wrapped in peace. It truly reflects the attitude of a resilient heart ever willing to take chances, explore options, make a choice, and seek a balance. Regardless of how joy bounces into your life, it is an unbound, untapped reservoir of potential. 

Joy is a constant habit to train our state of mind to focus on the positives, the good… holding onto pleasing thoughts and pleasant experiences. Joy can be transformative. It teaches us to be resilient to change and circumstances. It convinces us that life is flowing and nothing is constant – not grief, nor bliss. Joy is neither great happiness nor elation – a deep abiding quality of the soul. At its best, joy is defined as ‘a state of mind, an orientation of the heart – a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope’. 

Joy is ever evolving. It’s at the centre of all spiritual awakening and evolvement. A heightened consciousness of truth and spirit can create a deeply enriched and joyful existence. Martyr’s and Saints abide by joy. Brilliantly illuminated, they live confident and reassured, knowing that all present circumstances are fluid. The translucent quality of the present cannot deny them the future expectations. Learn to benefit from joy. The more joyful you are, the more chances you will attract sunny people and meaningful experiences in your life. You certainly attract what you put out and joy is no exception. It’s important to squeeze joy into your life. And who cares if it’s lemonade you’re making of those lemons life has served you? After all, in the grand scheme of things, it’s the simple joys that really make life meaningful. And so, I choose joy above all else. What about you? 


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