Let me tell you first how this post came about…
I am signed up to a tonne of inspiring newsletters.
They provide ideas, resources references and all sorts of other things.
Their intention is rarely to sell me stuff.
I did not sign up to the emails because I got a freebie in return, I signed up because these people have something interesting to say.
For some reason, maybe the stars were all aligned, a lot of them focused on joy last week. From little things to very big ones. They all made me think:
Is joy different to happiness?
Is one more permanent than the other?
Is pleasure different to joy?
Finally the definition of unconditional joy.
Joy not attached to people, places, times or things.
Joy that can be felt in the hardest of times… I was puzzled.
What was I missing?
In the process of finding joy…
So I started thinking what it actually means.
I switched off my phone, I took a walk, I slept on it , I showered with it…
So here is my “harvest”.
I was diagnosed with systemic lupus in 2004.
It took 1 year to find out it was lupus, 1 year of pain and all the unpleasantness of lupus.
It took 9 years before I ended up on dialysis and in the process of doing so I felt that I lost everything.
I had no idea what Karmic lesson I was meant to learn from this, I was just rolling with the punches.
In the process I had lost myself… or at least who I thought I was.
I felt that I had also lost my sense of direction. I was miserable.
I thought it would not be possible to be happy again, understood, loved… I was broken, literally and metaphorically and I had no idea how to be fixed again.
I attached joy to things , places , people and events. So I partied and sought simple pleasures in food and clothes, things, even excess exercise.
None of this really made me happy. They were all limited in time, place and value They were short-lived and conditional.
It was in 2013 when I was unable to attend the album launch of my very favourite artist that a light-bulb went off.
Yes I was sad I could not go. Yes I was sad that I could not see Janne and Miika and congratulate them on their success, but what was sadder was that I was seriously unwell.
As I reflected on the sources of my sadness that I discovered sources of unconditional joy. They all hinged on one thing… me!
My health, physical and mental.
Healthy relationships with friends and family.
Acceptance of my circumstances.
Ownership of my suffering, I am the only one that can make it better.
Gratitude. I am blessed in each day and monet I get to make it better.
Letting go of ideas about myself, others or society.