The pure and simple honesty of which children speak, touch our hearts in magnificent ways. When asked to describe the gifts of God in services one Sunday, a young child shared that it was "Joyness". This brought a smile to everyone's face because in her expression we knew just exactly what she meant.
She knew Joyness and so did we.The only gift greater would have been if she were to describe it, because the magic of youth will always give us the unexpected reminders about who we are and what really matters in that moment. We tend to forget our dividing differences when we encounter the moments of truth nestled in the innocence of a child's love, laughter and play. To have joyness might be a child’s way of helping adults to understand the quality and essence of joy as so much gets confused with the state of happiness. Where joy is called an emotion, happiness is not and what is really interesting is that emotional states are fleeting, like happiness, where joy is not. The rational mind of an adult can easily get confused with the many aspects of definition and where we know in our hearts that there is something quite grand about joy, putting our finger on it is often elusive.
The marketing of happinessis easier with its conditional nature, as it is more measurable. When a situation occurs we become happy and when it dissolves, the condition of being happy is over. It matches more accurately the nature of emotional states as they too do not have permanence.
When we consider the ups and downs of life, happiness matches those movements on the upside and looking for it on the downside. Our life condition almost begs us to be in the pursuit of happiness. Though in these curious times, we are being asked to move away from condition to look more curiously and derive meaning, we will find joy. The description of joyness then might encompass a larger framework to consider. Joy is present even when we are out of sorts with emotions, as it is not temporary, yet is derived and comes from meaning and purpose in life. When we have those, joy is our expression. As a child might describe to the best of their ability the greatness of a characteristic of God, joyness really says a lot.
Where the ness of happy is being in the experience of happy, the ness of joyis being in the experience that gives both meaning and purpose, in the love of that we find joy. Though clearly to a child, there is a greatness that embodies an expansive and powerful goodness that is gentle enough to embrace the playfulness and light hearted being of innocence.
Discover your own relationship withJoyness Since there are many descriptions and ideas about joy, why not take on what joyness might mean to you?
Consider your own state of happy and that of joy.
Notice where there is freedom and where restriction occurs.
Observe what is measurable and what is not.
Be aware of what is lasting and what is fleeting.
Explore what it is that brings you happiness and what brings you joy.
The curiosity of the exploration may independently compare or contrast happiness and joy for learnings sake, though let it ultimately be what unites your good feelings and understanding rather than divide. Let it bring you into the ness of good, light and all kinds of well being.
The ruminations of Lynda Tourloukis stir thoughts and ideas that lead us to educate, enlighten and empower. Master Trainer, Laughter Yoga, Professional Guidance for Living Swell, Play and Game Inventor and Humanitarian for a world that works for all. www.laughteryogalife.com