“Set your heart on doing good and you will be filled with joy.” — Gautama Buddha
Joy is the byproduct of love. We are made to love, and when we act in love there will be joy. When we see others with the eyes of love, joy sees their joy.
Joy sits in the heart of everyone waiting to blossom. It is available to anyone at any time. It longs to weed out cynicism and despair.
Joy is spoken of in every faith tradition, but joy is freely given. It requires no religion, no doctrine, no creed, no ritual. The open heart filled with love is all that is needed.
Joy is not passive. It is an active verb ready to erupt spontaneously in small acts and small places. It revels in the flower growing in the crack in the sidewalk and at the most insignificant detail. Think of a baby seeing its toes for the first time.
Joy will overwhelm at times filling an event, a wedding, a bar mitzvah, a baptism, a prayer with wonder and awe. Cherish these moments.
Joy cannot be contained. There is no such thing as one hand clapping. The joy in one person can become the joy of many.
Joy stands steadfast when there is sorrow or suffering. It knows the pain will diminish, but there will be scars. Joy will hold them close. “Weeping may spend the night, but there is joy in the morning,” we read in Psalms 30.
Joy wants to right wrong, seek justice, bring hope and uplift others. It’s that active verb again.
Joy wants to play, to sing, to laugh, to dance, to stomp in puddles. A traditional Jewish folk song, “Hava Nagila,” is played for dancing the hora. The words translate to “Let us rejoice, let us be joyful.” Joy will create play wherever it can.
Joy meets a person where they are and makes peace within. Breathe in that joy. Be at peace. Nothing else is necessary.