Reading about where joy comes from, was where I was led to this week. After too many sad stories of broken dreams, hatred, cutting lives short. I became overwhelmed with sadness.
I remembered a book that I had fallen in love with a couple of years back, “One Thousand Gifts”, by Ann Voskamp. She wrote about the true meaning of Joy, what it means and specifically where and when it decides to emerge.
Ann, in her own unique use of words says:
“Fullness of joy is only discovered in the emptying of will. I hadn’t known that joy meant dying. All these years, these angers, these hardening, this desire to control, I had thought I had to snap the hand closed to shield joy’s fragile flame from the blasts. In the storm of struggles, I had tried to control the elements, clasp the fist tight so as to protect self and happiness. But palms curled in to protective fists fill with darkness. I feel that sharply, even in this…and this realization in all its full emptiness: My own wild desire to protect my joy at all costs is the exact force that kills my joy”.
This hit me hard, as it was truth in my life.
I do not have control of how much joy I feel, but I can do two things that instantly evoke it in me: dancing to music that I love and being around kids. You are the lucky one that there is not a dance video of me attached, but I am fairly sure that it would bring you a laugh. I do want to share an image that shows my joy, it is my sweet client Penelope sitting with me in the middle of the shoot when everyone needed a small breather, so her brother asked if he could take my picture. If you know me really well, you will know that this is something that is hard for me. I am really uncomfortable in front of the camera, I will be working on this at some point in my life, but it wasn’t going to be that day. Joseph, the brother was maybe six years old, my camera was on a tripod, what could it hurt? All of the reasons I have liability insurance, Joseph snapped away and Penelope wanted to sit with me. Joy, there it is, unbridled joy.