Can We Really Be Joyful In Trials????
We are fragile creatures, and it is from this weakness, not despite it that we discover the possibility of true joy. ~Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Last month a dear friend came over to have dinner. As we sat on my back porch in a canopy of trees I gazed at the creek below and began daydreaming. For a moment, I sat lost in the my daydream with visions of a bright future. I was quickly jolted back to reality as I heard my child screaming for a toy. As I reentered this world, I looked up at my friend and asked, “If you could manifest your dream life, what would it be?” With a wide smile and giggle she responded, “I already have it.” I giggled back and in an attempt to be playful responded, “Well, you need to raise your standards ;)” My friend found the humor in my snarky response then shared, “What more do I need?”
This particular friend has had a pretty tumultuous run in life......Starting with abuse/trauma at a young age that eventually lead to addiction and an overdose landing her in the ICU. After a surprise pregnancy she went into recover and is now an incredible mama and friend. She is actually one of the most selfless and giving people that I know and her vibrant spirit shines as she laughs. Her life certainly isn’t easy though. She’s a single mama who lives in subsided housing and money can be scare......Yet here she stands in her dream life. I was awestruck by her response and actually wish that I could be content in each moment exactly where I am in the way that she is. I can get stuck in my daydreams wishing for a brighter future while missing the joy in front of me.
Shortly after our conversation I began reading the Book of Joy. The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have perhaps had some of the most challenging struggles imaginable. They have each experienced over 50 years of war and exile with soul crushing violence, oppression, and suffering. Confronting cancer and physical illness as well they have faced the abyss of despair in the world and in themselves. Yet these two men are considered two of the most joyful in the world.
As the Book of Joy discusses..... True Joy, Inner Joy is not only our natural state of being, it is our Birthright. These two men as well as my friend seem to have insight into something miraculous. They seem to have access into this natural state of being. They seem to have insight into the nature of JOY, CONTENTMENT, and HAPPINESS even in the midst of weakness, pain, and trials.
PERHAPS as these men share.............
And perhaps it's only in our trials that we truly do find Joy and appreciate the moments of goodness in our lives. Perhaps we all have the ability to experience this. All we have to do is tap in.