I thought joy and happiness were the same thing, but knew when happiness rang at a hallow echo as it left with the moment, that there had to be more. Happiness is fleeting, joy is a part of who you are, and can't be shook.
So why was I, a happy person, struggling to be joyful?
Joy requires vulnerability. It's not an easy thing to feel. It's the real stuff, the gritty, emotional, naked kind of emotion that is worth everything but takes messy, hard work.
It's that moment when you think of something or someone you love and get paralyzed with fear of losing it. Fear brings you away from joy, gratitude pulls you in.
It's that moment where something in the horizon gets you excited. The safe part of you tells you not to get your hopes up, joy is resting in trust.
It's that moment when you become close with someone. Your facade tells you to pull away, joy revels in opening up.
Let me tell you, resisting those moments of joy doesn't make the low moments hurt any less. It's not something you can bottle up and save for later. It's something to lean into and savour while it's there, and pray the glow continues to warm you until it's back.
I read a quote that said, to paraphrase, joy is the surest evidence of the presence of God.
Life's circumstances don't affect my joy, because they aren't the source of my joy.
So get your hopes up, love your heart out, be thankful for every day and every thing, knowing what gives you joy can't be taken away from you, it's in you.