My Angel Card today was “Joy”. I always love getting that card because it seems so positive and, well, joyful. But as I meditated on it, I realized that joy is something pretty foreign to me. I have never been what I would call a joyful or even – this may surprise some – a particularly happy person. Oh, I’ve had moments and even days or weeks of feeling blissful, ecstatic even. But those were usually times when I was newly in love, on vacation or in a mind-altered state. Deep down, long-term happiness and contentment have always eluded me.
And what’s so perplexing about that is that I have had a remarkably “happy” life. Since childhood I have had everything I could ever need and most of what I could ever want. My life has been comfortable, easy and abundant. I’ve had my share of tragedies, like everyone else, but nothing extraordinarily horrendous. When it comes to having a truly blessed life, I would guess I’m probably in the top 10% of the world’s population. But I’m not particularly happy. How can that be?
What came to me today was that it may be one of the lessons of this life for me. And it led me to remember one of the truths I learned a long time ago: Everything in this life is a duality. Everything has it’s opposite. If there is up there has to be down; if there is darkness, there must be light. There are two exactly equal sides to every coin. And though those two sides appear to be completely opposite, in reality and at the most basic level, they are the same.
So, here I am, leading my blessed, carefree life and I don’t feel joy. That must mean that the reverse is true, that it must be possible to feel joy even when life is hard. And as I look around, I do see people whose lives are much harder than mine, and who seem inexplicably happy. Which leads me to the conclusion that, despite outward appearances, there is absolutely no connection between circumstances and feelings of happiness or joy.
I may be the last person on the planet to figure this out, but it’s new information to me. And it’s very helpful information. Because I’ve been working pretty hard to arrange the circumstances of my life in ways designed to bring me happiness. Now I see that is a waste of time. I should simply be making choices that seem right at the time. That’s all I can do to influence the circumstances of my life.
And as far as finding or feeling happiness and joy…well, I’ll keep you posted.