Another week, another blast of horrifying news.
Viewing the pictures from Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Houston, etc makes it nearly impossible to avoid the fact that our world is suffering and like many I am desperate to respond. After feeling pretty helpless at first, I've decided on how to stand up to this suffering.
I will be joyful.
Yes, Joyful. Not because I like watching people suffer, but because real joy allows us to be closer to real suffering. Here is a quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
"Discovering More joy does not, I'm sorry to say save us from the inevitability of hardship and heartbreak. In fact, we may cry more easily, but we will laugh more easily, too. Perhaps we are just more alive. Yet as we discover more joy, we can face suffering in a way that ennoboles rather than embitters. We have hardship without becoming hard. We have heartbreak without being broken." The Book of Joy, pg. 12.
These are words from a man who has suffered greatly, yet has held fast to a type of joy few actually experience in this life. That is the kind of joy I want to know, practice, and share in the world. That kind of joy makes me feel powerful instead of helpless. Instead of being swallowed by the suffering I see each day, this spiritually centered joy helps me turn suffering inside out.
I weep, but I don't crumble. I repent, but I am not filled with shame. And finally I respond. Often the response feels too frail, too trivial, or too pale in comparison. But the world has enough suffering and I will not beget suffering with more suffering. I will match suffering with joy.
Over the next several weeks I am going to focus on the topic of Joy. You can see a weekly blog about Joy here and eventually I will do live show on my Facebook page. I am still working on topics for this series and would love to hear your comments, questions, or reactions about the topic of joy.
My hope is that we will be able to learn, practice and share joy in the world. so stay tuned to the blog! You can sign up for the Tune In Tip and get weekly email reminders about the blog post and a tip to stay joyful in the world.