Friday, May 20, 2011

more thoughts on joy.....
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this past Wednesday night I met Brother Emile from Taize, France.  Brother Emile has been a monk with the Taize community for more than 20 years, I believe.  He came to Canada this week to visit various cities and share about the theme of joy.  I found this very interesting as I have been contemplating this subject myself so much lately.
Brother Emile asked us two questions:
1.  Have you experienced something that is a companion to joy?  Does joy come alone or is there something else that comes with it?  (i'm not sure if I got this entirely worded the way he had it - but I believe this was the essence of his question.
2.  Is it possible to opt for joy?

We gathered in small groups to discuss our thoughts around joy.
When I thought of what accompanied joy in my own experience, it was the feeling of 'child-likeness'.  When I am truly joy-filled, there is a carefree element, a deep laughter, an abandonment of expression that I can only describe as being child-like.  This is very beautiful to me and it speaks of not being forced or manipulated.  Joy in this sense relates to inner freedom to be.
To opt for joy?  This is an interesting question and one to joy a choice?
We all tire of people that are positive to an extreme that they are not facing reality.  This is not attractive and I don't believe holds the true meaning of joy.

Perhaps it was said best today in my studio.  A woman came to buy the Love shines CD.  She was drawn to the song, Winter is Over.  She told me that as she gets older, the season of spring becomes more and more meaningful for her.  She is aware of Winter - and how it is a great symbol in our lives for seasons of being barren, experiencing loss and death.  She told me that she has become aware that as she fully embraces Winter in her life, the JOY of Spring has become that much more intense and real for her.  This was so beautiful to hear from this beautiful woman.  She summed up all that I would want to say here by that one thought.....
Because of her acceptance of the darkness - she is able to fully enter into the celebration of the light....and the joy was all over her face.
To opt for joy - perhaps involves embracing our suffering, weeping with those who weep, singing with those who sing and dancing with those who dance.  In entering life fully in all that it offers, we will taste joy.

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