Yes, I am hearing a funnily accented Italian Greyhound in my head as I read that title and you should be hearing it, too!
I started this wanting to write about joy — about picking joy, about choosing joy, about embracing joy and finding joy, and how embracing joy doesn’t just happen (especially for people that run baseline blue or depressed), how it’s a choice. Such thought put into my mind a most excellent post written a few years ago Elizabeth Vongvisith (the post is no longer up, alas) about love being a verb, not a noun, and I’m wondering: is this true for more than just love? In all of these things — love, compassion, joy, humility — my being aware of these states of mind, or being aware of these ways of being in the world, start with a choice. I choose, every day, in every moment, whether I’m going to come from a place of compassion, of love, of joy. I choose whether I’m going to represent my god in this world by how I treat those around me. Some days, of course, my awareness of this choice is lacking. Some days I can barely muster up compassion for anyone, let alone myself, and I realize that deciding that I’m going to choose how to be is not the same as deciding that everyone is capable of making that choice.
Something changed within me, in July of 2013, and I truly believe this was a gift given to me by my grandparents. In life they embodied joie de virve, and after they passed from this world, I keenly felt that loss. Their loss, yes, but also, unexpectedly, the loss of this source of their touch upon the world. Not just in how they interacted with everyone and how much they meant (and still mean) to me, but . . . I guess it’s the loss of their light upon the world. I wanted there to be that, still, in this world. I wanted, very much, for that part of them to remain. And, something shifted, within me.
I still run a baseline blue level. I still descend into darkness with regularity. I’m not, nor will I ever be, a happy, bubbly, cheerful person. But it’s gotten easier to choose joy. It’s gotten easier to give people the benefit of the doubt. It’s gotten easier to let go of the things that don’t concern me and have no real impact upon my life. It’s gotten easier to see what in my life needs to be released and, then, it’s gotten easier in the releasing of it. It’s gotten easier to be more authentically patient and compassionate with human people in general, and it’s gotten easier to allow myself to feel the joy that is walking my path and living my life.
I live my life with Poseidon; He is my center. He is my hearth. But I bring more of myself to this hearth, to offer to Him, than I had before, in being able to choose to embrace joy, in choosing to celebrate with love and warmth and joy His touch upon myself, and His touch upon the world. I won’t choose for others how they will interact with their gods, but for me, it’s certainly a celebration, and I truly want to bring that forth into the world.