Value of the week – Joy

“Where there is love, there is joy”. Mother Teresa.

We sense joy as an intense exhilarating emotion, during those moments when we feel love, great delight and vibrant happiness, caused by something good. We can experience a sense of joy too, when we see it radiating in the eyes of a child, as you see in the photo of one of my grandchildren.

Joy can be glimpsed in eyes.

When we are conscious of joy, as a value to guide our thinking and behaviour, we focus our awareness on appreciating the simple yet profound aspects of life. Being joyful, full of joy, is the capacity to delight in the richness, beauty and diversity of our world. Even during challenging times joy can be experienced when we take time to celebrate the ineffable aspects of our lives that are difficult to express in words.

Vicktor Frankl who suffered life in a concentration camp, wrote in his book Man’s Search for Meaning that when it seemed that all freedoms were taken away from prisoners, there still remained one freedom: the freedom to chose one’s attitude.

This realisation can have a profound affect on the quality of our lives, as we stop seeing ourselves as victims of circumstances but instead use the gift of our life to create moments of joy for others and ourselves.

On sunny mornings, Jane and I sit in our garden for a period of quiet stillness and reflection. As it is July, our lavender is at its radiant best and is literally buzzing with life. I have been almost overwhelmed with joy, as I have gazed at honeybees scrambling from flower to flower whilst butterflies flex their wings as they pause between flights.

For nearly four months I have seen my younger grandchildren on zoom for a session called Grandpa’s story, which has been a wonderful joyous time to stay connected as we shared our love of stories.  However the intense joy I felt this last weekend, when I was able to go on a cycle ride with some of them made me realise how easy it is in “normal” times to take such times for granted.

I do hope you are experiencing similar moments of joy.