These last few days I have been seeking joy, as if it were a limited experience, a one-time offering. I’ve given it all kinds of attention without opening myself to the actual experience.
Why is that?
Truly, because I am unable to imagine joy. I am facing a moment of loss; I want to hold onto what is no longer. I am not yet ready to let the dam burst. Letting go is its own moment, and I find no joy in it.
Pema Chödrön tells me that joy is trusting my “fresh, unbiased nature.” In other words, work with the reality I have.
At the beginning joy is just a feeling
that our own situation is workable.
We stop looking for a
more suitable place to be.
(The Places That Scare You, Pema Chödrön, 2009)
Joy washes clean my current slate; I weave the loss into every fiber of my being. There is so much love, so much gratitude, and yes, joy. I discover the extraordinary in the ordinary.
It takes guts, Pema Chödrön says–“rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite”–it takes tears, too.