What is Joy?

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Sometimes I need a little guidance outside myself so I throw the I Ching coins and read the hexagram for that day. Sometimes I get scolded and sometimes I receive insights into my challenges. This morning the hexagram was #58 Joy. In other translations, it can also be called “Open Connections.”

When I throw the coins I am very well aware that this advice was around about 1000 BC even though it only recently came to the Western world. Still when I read it, the words remind me of things my grandfather, may he rest in peace, used to say to me.

So as I was reading the English translation of hexagram #58, I realized that I didn’t know what joy was… because it is one of the small quiet emotions. When I looked around for a definition, I found that the online dictionaries dismissed joy as happiness at receiving something. It turned joy into a materialistic coin. Do you only get joy when you receive a promotion, a new car, or a child? I can see joy with the birth of a child because there is so much in that gift. But a car?

In the religious side, joy is associated with openness and communication, mostly communication with family. So did that mean because I am alone, I cannot feel joy? I think that if you have good relations with members of your family that maybe joy can be easier, but once again the definition reeked of capitalism and coin. You get joy for good behavior. It just doesn’t feel right to me.

I think because joy is so quiet that I zoom past the feeling and never quite remember it. I feel that quietness when I am holding my dog or watching a sunrise. I miss that feeling when I leaned against my late-hubby and rested my head against his shoulder.

When we walked hand in hand and talked, I felt that same feeling.

So maybe joy doesn’t come from receiving things, but maybe joy is actually wrapped up in gratitude.

Thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you God for everything.

2 thoughts on “What is Joy?

  1. You still missed the point of joy in religion. It is knowing that the angels are surrounding you in the golden light of our Savior. Please don’t tell me that doesn’t happen. I was three the first time and it has been a comfort every since when I sense that wonderful warmth from the golden light. I pray that you someday know that. Like you, I do miss the joy I knew when my husband was with me, but I thank God we had as long as we did.

    Hugs! May you have a very Merry and blessed Christmas.

    Mari

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