Do you ever experience something repeatedly over a short period of time to the point where you clearly see that your supposed to pay attention? I’ve come to understand there are no coincidences in life. So when I experience these moments now I stop and listen because I believe I am being spoken to.
I have to admit I haven’t really thought about the word “JOY” with any real effort. I’m not sure I completely understand it’s meaning. For me, it has been thrown into the pile with happiness, but I am starting to believe there’s more to it. This week I feel I have been led to look at ” JOY” and it’s no coincidence.
Early Sunday morning I was sitting at home after taking my daughter to the train station so she could return to college. I was feeling some sadness and called a friend. We talked about many things and the word JOY came up. My friend shared with me that to them joy is connected with doing the right thing. When I heard that I resonated with it being more internal than external and having lasting significance in terms of contributing to my overall well being. Happiness, on the other hand I came to see more clearly as something fleeting in nature as it’s often connected to things and moments where I get what I want. As our conversation continued my friend gently asked me what brings me joy. I didn’t know what to say – I had to think about it!
I haven’t given it too much thought since Sunday, however I keep experiencing questions, and messages about joy. Yesterday, I happened to read Holley’s post “You are made for Joy”and felt the timing of that post was with a purpose for me. This morning as I randomly opened my meditation book I fell upon a meditation titled “Joy Is My Compass”. In the reading an affirmation was suggested with regard to joy that said “I follow the path of my heart”.
This afternoon I went back to Holley’s post, read through it again and took a look at the topic for today’s share I saw the prompt. We were to share about what brings us joy. No coincidence!
Sunday morning I listed 3 things that give me joy.
- I feel joy with art
- I feel connected through art
- Art is creative and gives me my voice.
These are true for me and are part of my “God Sized Dream” today.
In writing this and thinking about joy a little further, I realize that many years ago I had another “God Sized Dream”. These are defined for me as deep knowings / callings. I don’t know if that is what they are but this is how I can best describe them. Anyway, that dream was to be a mother. Although I had the dream I also had many doubts with that ever becoming a reality for me, but it did. And although it hasn’t always been easy, and my marriage broke apart I have this amazing daughter who brings me tremendous joy!
- I feel joy letting her follow her dream to be an artist.
- I feel joy in encouraging her to go to art school and seeing her do it.
- I feel joy seeing her spend time with her friends even though that means I don’t get to spend so much time with her anymore.
- I feel joy having had the time to be around to raise her.
- I feel joy in seeing her thrive.
Doing the “right thing”. For me as a mother that meant staying home for the early years with her and then working part-time after that so that I could have a flexible schedule that would allow me to be home when she was. Today, as I struggle to re-create my path and follow my “God Size Dream”, the one I abandoned after college, I can start questioning my choices and the path. I ask myself why didn’t I go to art school? Why didn’t I pursue an MFA after college? What I was brought to, once again, was the reality that perhaps my heart felt dream to be an artist existed before my heart felt dream to be a mother. But the path was as it needed to be. If it had it been any different my daughter wouldn’t be here! She is part of God’s plan. She does bring me tremendous joy! God gave me more than I could have hoped for. If I continue trusting and listening to what brings me joy I just may have the experience of realizing another “God Sized Dream” that I have doubted for a long, long time.
I am all in for JOY as my Compass and following heart felt dreams.