What does happiness feel like to you? Is it warm sunshine in your belly? Is it quiet cool darkness all around? It is too many stars in the sky? Or the absence of physical pain?
What is joy? Is it round and full after a delicious meal? Or not having to do anything for 2 hours? Is it laughter that makes your sides split? Or the smell of fire and the sound of crickets? Is it all these things? Or none at all?
What strikes me most is the joy or happiness I feel sometimes isn’t mine until I’ve experienced it or remembered. Did I always love it? I didn’t remember I enjoyed the feel of someone’s breath that smells familiar or the crunch of sticks under my shoes. But that’s joy. And I didn’t know happiness would be a cup of coffee on the way somewhere or holding someone’s hand in the grocery store. But it is.
I didn’t know joy would be seeing my son accidentally run into the cupboards with his scooter, painlessly, in the house, in the afternoon. Or the water he spills when he drinks cause he is moving too quickly. But it makes me smile. I see expression and laughter and his beauty.
I didn’t know my favorite feeling might be sitting on the couches with my boys and laughing at things we didn’t know were funny until we moved them through the family grinder of humor. They’re the funniest things. They bring the greatest joy. They build memories.
So today, I had the most joy helping someone with something unexpected, that seems silly. But it brought me the greatest joy. And I wanted to remember. Today and every single day… the things that draw happiness and joy, the things that make me smile, the memories that are unexpectedly most full of awe, are sometimes, many times, any times come from something purportedly mundane.
Be open, be full, be porous enough to soak in the joy, the happy, the seemingly unexpected, the mundane, the silly, the tiny spark with the power to ignite so much more. It may change your heart, your hope, your life. But more so, it may light the next moment, which lights the next, which creates a line from one place to forever. And all the joy there is to have.
I saw it today. And the potential is endless, without boundaries or ceilings. Life may never be perfect. But let’s say this. What joy you create today will lead you to slightly more joy and only slightly more. And one day, you realize you feel more joy than pain. And consistently.
Let’s live that life. Elegantly. Thankfully. Fully.