Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

Joy is not in things; it is in us.
–Richard Wagner

Prometheus at the Worlds Fairgrounds, NY

Prometheus at the Worlds Fairgrounds, NY

At times, joy is hard to find.  Perhaps you are sunk in a well of sadness and wonder if you will ever see light again.  Perhaps you are in pain and you are not certain when it will end.  Perhaps you have lost a loved one.  Perhaps you are battling an illness or a reversal of fortune.  Perhaps you are alone and wish you could find someone with a kind and loving heart.

In these moments, it’s easy to believe that happiness is light years away.  It’s also tempting to look for happiness “out there”–as if it could walk through our door with a bouquet of flowers in hand, sweep us up in its arms and reassure us that everything will be all right.   But, in fact, it is closer than we think.  In fact, it is right here, inside of us.

For the past week, I’ve been laid low by some health issues and I’ve been reading Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness.    It is the best book I’ve read so far on how to find that island of calm and happiness within ourselves even when we are in turmoil.   In it, he gives a step-by-step guide to find this place.  It may be difficult to find at first, but over time, we will learn the way.  Once there, we can experience more and more soul-stirring moments of joy.

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.
–Joseph Campbell

This is what I wish for you in the new year!   Joy for you and your loved ones in 2014.

For other interpretations of this week’s theme, click on the links below:

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