On the essence of Joy

Dear quarter lives, 

Have you ever wondered what joy is made of? Have you ever wondered what force acts upon us that causes us to feel joy? Have you ever wondered what actions you take that cause someone else to feel joy? For years I contemplated joy, trying to understand how it came, what it felt like when it happened, how could I get more of it. But I just couldn’t figure out anything about it or what made it happen. It was like I was blind to the language of joy. So instead of trying to understand the whole of Joy, I wondered instead about the everyday kind of joy, the everyday moments that no matter how often they happened, they would make me feel like I was having a fabulous day, all the little things that happened moment after moment that made me feel alive. I wondered what these moments felt like, what they smelt like, what I was doing, was I saying anything or not, where was I, who was there, what was there, was it hot or cold, did I have breakfast or not, did I exercise that day or not, and so on. What all this wondering did was help me realise that first a big part of joy came from my senses; and secondly that my senses were allowing me to communicate with my environment and the more I could communicate with my environment, the more joy I felt; and the clearer these communications were, the more joy I felt. I knew that joy had something to do with communicating and connecting but I didn’t know much else. All I knew was joy was happening between things. It may reside inside of us, but it doesn’t happen there. It requires some other force to act upon us, or us to act upon another force. It requires movement. In physics, we know that force causes motion. And so without a force acting upon us, the joy inside of us remains immobile, static. Because we can’t know for sure what force is acting upon us, it is harder to know what causes joy to happen to us. But what we can know is what kind of movement our force causes when we use it. In other words, it is much easier to know how we bring joy to others, then how others bring joy to us. Here others includes anything outside of us, from the room we sleep in to the earth we walk on, the dog we feed, the plants we water, the people we know and the many others we don’t.

According to the Oxford dictionary, to be joyful literally means to feel or to cause great happiness. So one way to be joyful is to cause great happiness to others. Once we focus on causing happiness to our immediate environments, we become the messengers of joy. And when we deliver joy to others, we feel it too. We are now part of the process by which joy happens. We become an active component of joy. In communicating joy to other people, we get to feel it move inside of us and that movement I believe is what we call the feeling of “feeling alive”. Generating joy is similar to generating electricity; like it is the directional movement (not random) of electrons that generates electricity, it is too the intentional movement of joy that creates the feeling of it. Joy remains quiet and still inside of us until we decide to move it towards something or someone. So I encourage you to move the joy inside of you outside of you. Do not hoard it and keep it to yourself. For joy is a different kind of currency, it is one you accumulate by giving away rather than saving it all for yourself. And the more you exchange joy, the richer and more joyful you feel. And we have many names for this exchange of joy. When we exchange joy with God, we call it Faith. When we exchange joy with another soul, we call it Love. When we exchange joy with another body, we call it Sex (sacred energy exchange). So the essence of all joy is every single communication of joy, from that of a smile between you and someone, to the exchange of a beautiful scent between you and a flower, the communication of a beautiful sight between you and a painting, or some kind words between you and your mother —-these are all expressions of Joy. So dear quarter lives, be intentional communicators of joy, exercise joy, move it, express it, speak it, paint it, eat it, that is how we feel it. 

Joy is a currency of happiness, one we get richer in not by accumulating it all for ourselves but by giving it to others. The more joy you give, the more happiness you receive, the richer and more joyful you become.