The older I get, the more I realize that life is not for winning a race, graduating with honors, or getting the promotion. Through Divinely designed trials of life, created especially for me, and my experiences of coaching and teaching emotional wisdom to clients, who are also going through their Divinely designed trials, I have developed an even deeper understanding of the well-known statement, “Joy is found in the journey.”
One might be tempted to view the receiving of gifts or praise at one’s accomplishments as the source of joy. At times it is. Of course it can also be found in winning the race, graduating with honors and even getting a promotion. But joy at its greatest capacity (that we are able to experience in this life) is found in the sweating and aching muscles to build endurance while running uphill in preparation for a marathon. It is found in the long hours and sleepless nights of writing a 10-page essay, studying for an exam and juggling a work schedule in order to pay for school. It is found in the early morning, long commutes to get to work before the boss, the missed lunches to finish a time sensitive report and the late hours to tie up any loose ends. Each one of these journeys, in order to experience joy, requires the perspective that the suffering and the enduring is not just for the end result, but for the lesson and growth that is attained during that journey.
There are many experiences that bring joy into our lives, but the joy I want to express to you today is the joy that comes in the hardship, the struggle and even the suffering. It’s not something you would necessarily sign up for in order to receive joy and maybe you haven’t even thought of it as possible, but I can personally tell you that true joy is in the lessons learned through weathering the storms of life; storms that include tragedy, loss, sickness, loneliness, hunger, battling addiction and more.
The kind of joy I speak of is the joy that comes with the continued journey of finding meaning to the suffering, even in the sometimes senseless and meaningless acts of others. It is the kind of joy that gives meaning to everyday living through enduring the difficult and sometimes, downright exhausting vicissitudes and storms of everyday life.
There is no measurement in the extent of one’s suffering from another’s. One’s suffering is as unique to them as is the joy they receive through their endurance.
The question then is how to receive joy in life’s sufferings? To that, I add my belief that everyone has opportunity to experience joy in whatever situation, circumstance or suffering they may be faced with, for it is in one’s perspective of what is in front of them that determines their capacity to receive it, feel it and experience it.
In this perspective, when one’s life is aligned with what brings them joy, the result is greater motivation and balance and an increased capacity to experience joy more fully. Therefore, being aligned with what brings one joy, puts one’s focus on finding joy in everything, even in the trials and sufferings of life.
Let me to support you in finding joy and purpose to your life’s journey.