Joy is an Act of Courage

Wait a minute. That can't possibly be true. Joy, an act of courage? Isn't joy the idea of living in a delusional fantasy world with no basis in reality?


Ahhh, reality.




Reality Used To Be a Friend of Mine


What is real, a positive plane

Reality and life are not the same

As to her equivalence to what is real

She doesn't appeal to how I feel

- P.M. Dawn


"I'm just facing reality," they say as they extol the latest horror on the news.


"You're not being realistic," they say as you express a viewpoint of optimism.


"It's nice to see a movie/book with a realistic ending (meaning it ends sadly or badly)," they say as you sit there with your balled-up Kleenex and a broken heart.


Hear me as I stomp my foot and shout "No!"


Reality with bias is not truth. Reality with bias is perspective.


Don't Believe Me?


One definition of reality from Google states that reality is the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them. Basically, most people's idea of reality would be one lacking joy. I would argue negativity in itself is also a bias and not fact. Take one situation....traffic. Reality would state there are a lot of vehicles on the road in one place. The adding in of emotion makes this perspective...one will perceive it to be an inconvenience...another an opportunity to overdose on podcasts and some alone time. The reality, however, is in neither of these opinions.



Negativity is Easy


I would have to say that in the world that we live in today negativity is the easiest go-to. Want to make a quick connection? It's less vulnerable to find agreement in the latest gossip or berate the management than to talk about our meditation practice or new exciting hobby of knitting dog sweaters. It's more comfortable to lament the wet weather than be the oddball that loves the rain. Complaining about a bad meal at a restaurant we went to takes a lot less effort than appreciating the nuances of what they did well.


Remember I'm a fellow seeker, not a teacher. As a person who dislikes awkward silences, I become quite desperate to fill the void with anything even the negative. My journey towards being more joyful involves the practice of being comfortable in the uncomfortable, but until such time as that moment arrives, I intentionally attempting to fill the silence with positive conversation or end it. It's a work in progress.


Choosing joy has been an exercise in being cognizant of the energy of my interactions or my perception of situations. It's a real exercise in vulnerability and being secure in yourself because there are a lot of uncomfortable moments when you choose this path of joy. It takes courage and practice to stay in connection with our best selves.



Joy is Courage


It is a consistent challenge to myself and to you in choosing to be aware of negativity creep that interprets itself as "reality." It takes a great deal of courage to answer "I'm great" when asked how we are doing or keep our mouths shut to the latest gossip tidbit. Being in constant horror of awkward silence, it is an act of bravery when I endure as opposed to take the easy route of commiserating in misery or heartfully allow someone the benefit of the doubt instead of passing judgment.


Because if negativity and joy are both perspectives, even when it's harder, I am prouder of myself when I enjoy the feel of the rain on my skin than immerse myself in the existence of an ever-present rain cloud.


And in this world, that's brave.

When you feel a peaceful joy, that's when you are near truth.

- Rumi

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