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Joy is like a light that never dims, never flickers, always there for illumination, stability, guidance, and protection. Copyright: Shutterstock.

In a perfect world joy safely can derive from success at doing, finding, or achievement of objectives.

Joy is not happiness. Happiness is an emotion. No one in their right mind seeks to be happy all of the time because in a perfect world, the opposite of happiness is not sadness, its tranquility.

In a perfect world, the opposite of happiness is not sadness, its tranquility.

Sadness is opposite of happiness only in context of an imperfect world. In a perfect world, we would switch between excitement or happiness and tranquility. It is tranquility that makes a guy and a gal sit gazing into each other’s eyes holding hands feeling the world is at a stand still because of their love. Happiness can make a guy and a gal dance, fill them with gaiety, tranquility makes the world stand still as they reflect on their love at times absent any exchange of words. In a perfect world, tranquility, dancing, gaiety, singing all emanate from inner joy, inner joy we always have because joy is a state of being, a quality.

Joy is a state of being, a quality, as such in a perfect world we can reasonably expect always to have joy.

In an imperfect world, joy that derives from success or achievement of objectives can be sucked away by death of a loved one, loss of a child, sickness, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, fires etc., things over which we lack control. If we derive joy from our achievements, even if all of our neighbors love us, our collective joy easily can be stolen by caprice of nature — think Houston, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Las Vegas etc.. There is no joy in losing every record of progression of your children with age to some meaningless fiery uncontrollable blaze.

Our imperfections sometimes are the most important threats to our joy.

When a good man makes a mistake in his dealings with those whom he loves, his sense of having failed can take away his joy, and drive him into a state of drunkenness or addiction. Only when such a good man can hold on to his joy in midst of such failing is he able to redeem himself in his own sight and keep moving in the right direction. When a man murders his ex wife and his children (you will be surprised how often already this has happened in the United States), it is because divorce has sucked the joy out of his life and he despairs his ex will use what should bring him joy — his children — to provide joy to anyone else, herself inclusive. Countries where it seems such do not happen, more likely to be poor record keeping not better people.

Good men who lose their joy can descend to unfathomable depths in extremity of their actions.

A potential solution is for our joy not to be attached to our successes or achievements. This way we are impervious to success or failure. But this is sterile living because in order to protect our minds we totally exclude joy from out of our lives. But is this not exactly what capricious nature is capable of doing — taking away our joy? To be impervious to success or failure then is to do for capricious nature exactly what we seek to prevent. This is proverbial “cutting your nose to spite your face.”

Only those capable of forgiving themselves, who as such are able to truly maintain joy have capacity to forgive others.

In the last seven years I have been through a lot in the sense of say capricious nature. My wife of 16 years, 13 post wedding upped and left right after I supported her to actualize her education goals. Imagine not saving for five years so your wife can go to school and so you can provide for four young children then having the wife leave right after she got a job out of the education you funded. Ouch!!! Talk about being sucker punched in the gut by ‘Brutus’. I was so out of breath I could not even figuratively utter “Et tu Brutus?” Did it hurt? You bet. The question that almost kills you is the “did she ever really love me question.” But you learn to live without an answer and truly move on because when the marriage already is over an answer is pointless.

I forgave myself. I have never asked my ex any questions about why she left or how she’s being since then. I am at peace and have joy.

My business did not take off as I had planned on resignation from my full time job and I eventually had to relocate out of the United States to secure new employment. Were there days it was difficult to be happy? Absolutely! Joy, however, I never once have lost in the last seven years.

I can say with confidence the peace and joy Jesus promises never has failed me — not even once in seven years.

The last two years I have attended a church service only about four times either because I was invited or was visiting with extended family and did not want to get into any arguments about efficacy of church services as domiciles of the grace of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. Regardless of lack of attendance at church services, the peace and joy Jesus promises never has failed me because promised peace and joy are not confined to church services; rather are promised to those who have faith in Jesus Christ, not those who attend church services.

Spirituality that is ineffective at helping us maintain our joy moment by moment, day by day is meaningless, useless spirituality.

Personally, I have found Jesus Christ to be my source of unfailing, never ending supply of joy. My joy derives from capacity to do what is right and capacity to forgive myself when I fall short of my own standards, standards determined by my faith in the name of Jesus Christ.

The greater the number of people who can find and maintain joy, the more we create a better world for us all.

What have you discovered to be your source of unfailing, never ending supply of joy? I have found Jesus but will not begrudge you your joy if you have found it outside of Jesus Christ. Feel free to respond with your story.

Written by

Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos

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