… for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. — Psalm 63:7
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
and good news refreshes the body. — Proverbs 15:30
Light the three Advent candles. Last in the set of flames: joy flares.
In addition to developing a positive outlook, cultivating gratitude, and practicing kindness, joy often comes through spiritual, emotional, psychological and social connections. Though it begins internally, like hope and peace, it is fed through relationships.
In The Book of Joy, Desmond Tutu says, “We are fragile creatures, and it is from this weakness, not despite it, that we discover the possibility of true joy.” How does vulnerability become a threshold for joy?
Your capacity to need others and to be needed by others — this reciprocity within the human experience — creates connection. Joy grows out of relationships, even in the toughest of times, as well as the most stable and rewarding of times.
How do you feed the light in others? In what ways do you permit your own inner light to be grown, nurtured, and protected?
Whatever the situation you are considering, who else has shared this experience? What can you learn from others about the circumstances upon which you are reflecting? Desmond Tutu shares, “What the Dalai Lama and I are offering … is a way of handling your worries: thinking about others. You can think about others who are in a similar situation … who have survived, even thrived. It does help quite a lot to see yourself as part of a greater whole.”
Joy shines in combination with the other candles. Let it ignite in your life. Know you are not alone. — Rev Gail
Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home … It’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.
– Chuck Palahniuk
We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn
to turn on his or her own light. – Earl Nightingale