Joy…is it a myth?

This post is triggered by a friend, Leigh, who was wondering out loud in her post, ‘Joy, what is it?’ , and its part in her life. So I thought I would pass on what I personally found, and maybe it will help or give an understanding in something that we all ask at times in our lives.

In my own journey I felt a joy from what I was taught…lets say it was my birthday (as a child) was coming up, so I would get all excited and happy leading up to it. And children are much more unconditional until ‘life’ gets in the way. So it was my environment guided me in many things like this, from what I was shown and experienced as I grew up.

But the one thing that never seemed to be satisfied, was this ‘something’ that I never seemed to reach, a place where everyone said I would be happy when I reached it, but in finding this ‘so called’ nirvana, it left a lingering hollow that just didn’t touch what I thought would be ‘joy’. A career, home, partner, children and so on would bring it into my life, but never a lasting one to make you feel you had found ‘it’, that place we all search for.

Until I did ‘touch’ it, after picking myself up off the floor in a crying heap as I finally ‘saw’ what was truly holding me back. After a divorce, severe anxiety, loss of family and friends…I finally dared to look within and ask that question…’is this it down here, a life of misery and pain?’, as my fear dragged me kicking and screaming into changing what I had re-inforced my whole life up till that point.

Through my life I saw one thing, and one thing only…as a child it was my reaction to (I felt), was my dad treating me in such a way that I felt he didn’t love me, and that I couldn’t handle it anymore…so I blocked him emotionally (I was a grand old age of about 7 or 8). And anyone else who said they loved me needed to then ‘be’ a certain way to prove themselves, and I would drown them in some artificial love (because it had conditions tied to it everywhere), by sending flowers, invite them out, do grand things for them…all built on my fear of not being loved, being rejected by those who I loved and looked up to. Of which I carried on into adult hood.

So began my journey to find ‘why’, and once I saw what it was….I finally let go something that had weighed a ton on my life up to that point, physically, emotionally and most certainly spiritually as I had blocked it with all my walls.

My point being, once that fear was finally understood, you let go, and I mean really let go of expectations (of you and others), wants, needs, judgement, and a million other things that we don’t realise we do in avoiding that fear. The world completely changed overnight…well, actually I did…and without that one constant of fear affecting everything that I did…I began to ‘see’…and I mean really ‘see’ what had always been there, but I was blinded by my walls.

Let me show you an example of how it happens….your boss asks you to do something for your work, it is going to take some serious effort to get done so it will take over your life while you finish it. It is done at work, at home, in the shower and even sidetracks you in your family life. When you finally come back up for air at the jobs end, half your life has passed you by. A child’s birthday missed, a presentation for a family member or even friends invites are ignored.

And that is what fear does, it blinds you to life, keeps you on-guard and sidetracked in so many ways. But when it is finally understood, it is YOUR jobs end. You will release it because it no longer has power over you. You…are…free.

And in that freedom is a relief, release and self love because of what you have endured to see it for what it is, and break free of that life of drudgery.

And then something comes in that you weren’t expecting….you can now ‘see’ life (dancing under your tree’s Leigh πŸ™‚ ), and it brings a joy like no other. It is a feeling that you have never had, simply because it has been blocked all your life. And there where it has always been is…your lovely tree’s on a roadway :), a butterfly with beautiful wings, flowers with color that you have never been able to really see before, even just a child’s happy face.

You can even now see and feel joy in others, because you ARE now joy because of what you now understand within yourself.

Yes, through your life you will feel bursts of joy in different events, simply because you have let your fear go, its overpowering reins on your life for just a while…until it slowly comes back in, reminding you of what you hold deep within.

That is our journey, to find that joy, in the love we have of ourselves. It holds so much joy unlike anything in this world…but it is only blocked by that wall of fear. Beneath that wall is an indescribable beauty…a place that will bring a smile from within like no other, regardless of where you are, whenever you are…it is timeless, and very unconditional.

I wish I could just show you what I found…but then you wouldn’t understand, because you hadn’t experienced giving that love to you, and finding that joy…the most important part of this entire journey down here πŸ™‚

52 thoughts on “Joy…is it a myth?

  1. Beautiful and thought provoking post, Mark.
    Warm greetings from the airport – on my way home to my beloved ones. The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again! <3 πŸ™‚

    1. Ah, absence makes the heart grow fonder. It allows us to appreciate those we love so much more πŸ˜€
      And thank you for your words, may your flights always encompass your hearts journey, coming or going πŸ˜€ <3

  2. Thanks for this reminder. I let fear and overwork (that I choose to do) rob me of joy. I was recently wondering if joy was like a mythological creature, but you’re right, it’s there if we stop long enough to see it. This is something that really robs the joy from marriage–when you expect so much from your partner and fail to see what they already give.

    1. And thank you Adrienne, for your very insightful comment. It is our journey to let our fears blind us to what is always there. We hold that wall in front of us by burying ourselves in so many things so that we don’t face that pain, the pain that builds those walls.
      And as the years go by we become more disillusioned in our journey until we are placed in a position that makes us face what we have built. Usually a marriage breakdown or the loss of someone very close. And within that we finally understand that we are so much more worth than the wall we have built. We are forced to face the fear we have avoided, and within that place we finally ‘see’ why we had built this wall, understand that it usually built from our childhood, the rejection we feel from someone we love, and usually a parent (or both), and so we begin to build a wall to protect our very immature coping abilities, block those painful things in our lives and avoid and build them into mountains.
      And if you look back through all your relationships, you will see the pattern, the trail you continuously followed so that you can arrive at this point, many years later, so that you can understand you, see the beauty that is still there, waiting for the breakthrough that will begin another journey, one that will now understand why your heart was closed down, and start to ‘create’ your life instead of ‘reacting’ to it. And because of all the pain and hurt associated with this journey, when the time comes and you finally see and understand the reason behind it, you will so appreciate what it has taken to find that happiness.
      Yes, that joy and happiness we all seek in our lives, is only ever held back by our walls. Find your wall, go deeper, understand why it is there…and it loses its power…and you are free.
      If you can now ‘see’ that you are at this place, you have begun to see your truth…can see that your life is worth so much more than where you are at. And it is in loving yourself that you begin to tear down what no longer serves you. Only then can you truly love another, when you give that love to yourself.
      May your journey find that beauty within Adrienne, as you will, because it is waiting, gently waiting, for that wall to fall. You just have to push.

  3. Joy. It’s what makes life worth living and we have a knack for complicating things, don’t we? So that the joy doesn’t have a role in our lives the way fear does.
    Love this post and your words. πŸ™‚

    1. My thanks for your words and thoughts kind lady. Joy does have great meaning in our life, and I think because we hold our fear as a wall, it is all the more appreciated when it does arrive on our doorstep.
      May this season bring it in to your heart, and appreciated all the more because of the years endurance of the many things you have faced.
      Blessings and joy to you also, for your wisdom is seeing it in your journey, and the love it produces in understanding it πŸ˜€ <3

  4. Dearest Mark.
    I am just popping in to say thank you for your love and support… And to wish you and yours a beautiful Christmas as I send well wishes for a Peaceful and Happy New Year..
    Love and Blessings πŸ™‚
    Sue <3

    1. Thank you Sue, I appreciate your love and blessings with open arms. And returned in kind my friend, especially after your recent journey of loss.
      Let this time of Christmas embrace you in its love, and be a solace and blessing in your journey <3
      Much love and light from 'downunder', with many hugs for the New Year kind lady, may it be with much wisdom and beauty for your soul. <3
      Take care, Mark xox

  5. “between the pains, there is joy” – This is taught in so many Eastern Religions, although the concept is not always easy to accept or understand. eve

    1. No, it isn’t easy to see, and a hard journey as well Eve. But it is because of that very thing that we actually appreciate just what we have gone through, and ‘see’ how it is only those walls that we put up that have blocked the love that we all seek. Our love. And in understanding, then we are set free…totally, unconditionally, free…for it is only us that put conditions on our love πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you Michele. And those expectations and fear are a guidepost to what we need to look at within ourselves, they give us direction when we do the same thing over and over and still come to a place we don’t want to be.
      And on the other side, is the change that we are being asked to create so that we no longer follow those things that no longer serve us.
      May your changes to joy always be with much love Michele, and a guidance to that lovely heart within <3

  6. A beautiful post mark, I resonate with your fear of rejection and being loved by others… this has been my greatest fear too… until we realise it all doesn’t matter, it’s only about how we love ourself… and then the bubbles of joy begin floating up through our body and mind, opening us up more and more guiding us deeper into bliss here on the physical plane… Experience, experience will get us all there in the end x thanks for sharing x barbara

    1. Thank you for your beautiful words Barbara. It is an amazing breakthrough when we finally ‘see’ what has been very lovingly waiting inside for us, encouraging us to face and breakthrough those walls we have had a lifetime of building.
      It was the most amazing thing when I finally saw and understood exactly what was holding it all in place…and in truth, such a simple thing, but it resonated for the rest of my life in all that I did. And all done with a love like no other πŸ™‚
      My thanks for sharing your heart here too, it encourages others to see that it is confirmed by many, and something that does have purpose, this journey that we all do <3 xo

  7. So interesting written Mark, thankΒ΄s for sharing:-)
    We search for something in the big World, we search in others
    but if we dig deep in ourselves we all have a big treasure to find?!
    Peace and Love unconditionally will enter our Hearts…
    Have a wonderful day tomorrow πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Elaine. It is a big journey ‘out there’, but it isn’t until we hit rock bottom that we understand that it has always been within us. It is that realisation that we have built many walls to not be hurt, but in truth those walls are also blocking who we are within. Once those fears that we avoid are faced, in their understanding they lose their power, and the walls are no longer needed. They are no longer needed to keep that dreaded enemy outside the gates, because we can now ‘see’ that they were built from a child’s fear that we had carried on into adult hood, even forgetting what they were originally based on, that is why most people say ‘I can’t see why I act in this way’ or ‘I can see I am afraid, but I don’t know why’.
      But that is our journey, to see that truth within, release those fears, and in doing so we begin to love the one person that we have avoided all our lives, simply because those fears keep us in a low worth or negative space…and that is to love ourselves.
      But the breakthrough at these times does just that…by facing those things we fear, we are in fact loving us.
      And as you said, because there is no conditions on our love of self anymore, we are unconditionally loving ourselves, and in turn, naturally give that out to others.
      Thank you for sharing Elaine, may your love always wrap you in its arms, to spread outward like a ripple in a pond πŸ™‚

  8. The quest for joy is a tough and elusive one for some of us who were subjected to an overwhelming world of pain and cruelty since our earliest memory. Bravo on this thoughtful, caring and encouraging post, Mark. We need to help each other keep the spark of hope alive. Discovering and uncovering joy is often a hard-won task of the spiritual warrior. I’ve been writing stories about joyful self-actualization lately. I love when the universe shows us the threads of interconnection. Thank you for sharing your relatable story and words of encouragement. Peace and blessings upon you, MW

    1. Thank you MW. And it is a tough journey, of going through some of the most horrendous things, and battling against our worth from years of fear and a untrue belief of who we think we are.
      But as you say, that self actualization is the making of us, from a world where nothing seems to make sense, to an understanding that finally shows us the beauty of that self same journey.
      We cannot make sense of that journey unless it follows that path, from a conditional love in everything we do, to the beauty of an unconditional love for ourselves and others.
      That understanding shows us the unconditional love within, that realisation of self worth by going through such painful things, to finally ‘see’ and so appreciate what we have endured.
      It is the happiness we have always sought, in all that we do. That nirvana within, a joy that has never really been experienced because we have never been this way within, and the understanding of just what that self love means.
      I have also been enjoying your posts MW, you always show that beauty of self realisation in your words, a story of where your heart is within πŸ™‚
      Thank you for sharing, and I am glad that the universe is building a glow, encouraging us all, as more and more of those like minds are coming together πŸ™‚
      Love and light to you also, may the love in your connections gently ripple wider <3

  9. Mark this post is so good. It takes a lot of courage to delve deep into that well of emotion which has kept us prisoner for so long in our empty hallows we so often wallow within..
    Both you and I know now that Joy to be found.. And no amount of description can describe that kind of Inner Joy one has found..
    We each of us have to sink down to those lower depths of despair in order to start to peel off the many layers we have built up around ourselves over the years of self preservation as we held our masks firmly fixed πŸ™‚

    Our journeys sometimes need to take us down these deep holes in order to strip away those layers, we each know the painful process of the removal of them.. Sometimes we think we have taken the last layer off then something else triggers another emotion and another layer is finally stripped away.. Leaving us often raw and vulnerable through the process..

    Yet when we are stripped bare, We begin to SEE our Journey, and Understand that finding Joy is not OUT there, but INside of each of us.. Always was there, just waiting for us to understand it, as we hold out our arms to embrace ourselves as we learn to LOVE ourselves anew..

    The Joy in finding that unity with self is indescribable πŸ™‚ You could Sing from the roof tops of your discovery of Self..

    So happy to be part of your journey Mark.. Its never an easy ride, but the destination once we arrive at this Joyful point is well worth the experiences it took to get here..

    Love and Blessings my good friend
    Sue xx

    1. You have described it perfectly Sue (obviously you have found your joy πŸ˜€ ).
      And as you said, it is an amazing place to be, that inner joy that can only be found when we do go through that one journey we avoid like the plaque. Simply because of the fear we have tagged to it, and, as you said, the many masks we layer over it to avoid that confrontation, for us, and others.
      It is not a total deliberate act, but one of naturally protecting ourselves from the pain that it brings into our lives. But the journey entails always facing it…bits here, bits there…until one day we are put through a very trying place, and for one reason only…to see through those masks and finally touch the beauty that is hiding behind it. And the ‘after glow’ in its understanding will then always be there, even if you go through another hard part in your life….because now you understand it, AND you can begin to ‘see’ what drives those times so that you NOW go looking for the culprit πŸ˜€
      It is a pleasure to share time in our journey Sue, another ‘joyful’ traveler sharing that new heart with all on your blog. Poetry to please the dreaming of the heart, and even a garden to ground our flights, creating a balance, as we should in all our journeys.
      Thank you for sharing your understanding here too, it is more than a blessing to hear your discovery of joy here as well πŸ™‚
      Love and light to you kind lady, may that joy always wrap you in its love <3 xo πŸ™‚

      1. Awww thank you Mark… It takes one Light to know another as they say lol πŸ™‚ and yes I am sure I will still keep on learning, but the deep dark well I once found myself in.. No longer will I ever go there.. For I now SEE the reasons we are all here.. So simple yet so hard for us to at times unravel the layers not only in this life time, but for what we have carried over from past ones too..
        But I intend this to be my last Earth Journey.. So I hope I learn to travel Light, and offload any unwanted baggage πŸ˜‰ Hugs my friend for understanding perfectly this journey we have led. <3

        1. It is so amazing when we finally ‘see’ it Sue. It has great purpose, and I keep just shaking me head as I ‘see’ just how intricate but perfectly meshed together it all is, so that we CAN understand each and every part we go through.
          May your check on flight only have the heart that you now hold Sue, all other baggage used, understood, and released with the love it was given πŸ˜€ <3

        1. It is difficult Amy, as it was given with much love and empathy. And accepted as such. As I did from you, as I know you gave it from the heart. But it can cause much angst, and that is not loving you.
          Accept it with unconditional love…for you. They (whoever passes it forward) have been given that love in you just accepting it for the gift that it is, as you have done πŸ™‚
          The last time I accepted one, I got buried in them, like permission had suddenly been obtained and it was open slather. I almost put a sign up the top…’Award Free, but all hearts welcome’ πŸ˜€

          1. This is the chance I took by accepting this award, Mark. Especially this time of year I get a ton. I don’t wish to hurt anyone’s feelings but I must draw boundaries in order to do the Work for which I have been called. I do have a notice on my blog that says Award Free Blog. I had to. The list is endless of the awards I have been given which can be found on my Awards Page. Keep the Torch lit and moving, Mark. There are many of us working for Good here on WP and my dearest wish is that all are known and recognized. Much Love, <3

            1. Your always from the heart young lady, and the blogging world knows that. And your ‘word’ is spreading with the love that you always give <3
              Plus, I keep coming back for more, how would my life be without my daily vista of beautiful shots of your journey πŸ˜€
              Love and light to you also Amy, may your 'torch' be that light in the wilderness <3

              1. Mark, truth be told I am stunned by how many are following me. The numbers are constantly going up and to know this is what God asked a shaking woman a little over 4 years ago to do, well, I see what I am today and the utmost awe of all that has unfolded keeps me very very humble. I haven’t been hearing the words as much as I normally do but I don’t fret about it. Always there is a season, quiet is good too. Besides I’ve been very involved with a friend who is quite ill and in contact with his family daily. A lot of “energy” is being used to send outward.
                OUR Light in the wilderness …. don’t forget you! You’re right along there besides me, a Brother of Honor! <3

                1. Thank you Amy, and yes, it is OUR light, all who have ‘seen’ and opened for this journey. It is a very humbling experience to find just what is deep in our hearts, and what is behind it all. You will find that as your awareness grows you will have patches of silence, and that is just you integrating what has been already shown, so it ‘seems’ to disappear. My ‘knowing’ seems to ‘turn off’ occasionally, but later I realise it is sooo subtle that I was doing it but not realising it had just become who I was. And then a ‘new’ ability would come in, and it would start all over again. It is amazing the incredible love that is interwoven in that awareness in our gifts. Unconditional is just that, an amazing thing that is a part of everything within us all, regardless of where we are at in our lives, it partakes of everything πŸ˜€
                  And I am not surprised by your followers my friend, your coming from that opening you have found, and it attracts accordingly <3
                  Plus the pic's are just fantastic anyway πŸ˜€

                  1. I’ve been through these quiet times before and that is why I don’t fret. I’m just going through another switch or transition and the words will begin to start flowing again probably in places that will have me running for my pen and paper (as per usual). In the flow of Life you become confident that all works together for Good though at times I must admit being human after all, the tough times are far from easy to stay in flow. Life is a process …. πŸ™‚ <3

  10. I think the confusing part for so many people is they don’t see fear as the root cause of so much–anger, depression, etc. And yet, you are so right–when you dig deep enough, there it is.

    1. We have had a life time of tucking it away out of sight Kristine, simply because it hurts too much to face. And as time goes by it gets bigger and more fearful to look at…and to be truthful, it is hidden away by a child’s mind, with no ability to understand it truthfully because of our (then) immature handling capacity of those types of events.
      And by the time we grow up, it can be so deep that we actually deny anything being wrong…you know, the point the finger at anyone or thing else but ourselves, because that is how we’ve always been.
      But slowly the universe wants us to ‘see’ what is truly in there, and after going through an enormous confrontation with ourselves…it shows itself…and a beauty all its own is finally understood πŸ™‚
      Thank you for sharing Kristine, may your ‘joy’ dance with you, regardless if anyone is looking or not πŸ˜€

  11. Powerful post, Mark!! I’ve been on a similar journey because just like you said, every time I achieved or received something I was looking forward to in getting, I was always left with a “hallow” feeling as if I was missing something. I learned that by depending on outward circumstances to bring us JOY or to put expectations on others will only lead to disappointment. I still today loose focus of what is important when something huge comes along to distract me, so it is a process yet unfolding. Every word you spoke here it was as though I was reading about myself. Wow!
    And oh, I just posted on Petals a picture of me with my umbrella hat on. It is because of your suggestion that I bought it. And now I can take pictures in the rain without worry of damaging my camera. Thank you SO much, dear friend!!! <3

    1. Haha, I’ll be right over to check out the ‘new’ hat Amy πŸ˜€
      And thank you for your comments, it is a long hard path to find ourselves, but that has purpose so that we WILL appreciate what it took to find ‘us’. A very beautiful and loving individual, after knocking off those growths of negativity and low self worth that we have poked at us since childhood.
      That joy is waiting for us all…we get glimpses in many events in our lives, but it isn’t until we are put in a situation that forces us to look inside and really ‘see’ ourselves for what is there from years of avoiding and holding those fears at bay. And in looking, we begin to see and understand our ‘why’s’, and begin to release them forever to create a vacuum for ‘joy’ to be a permanent part of who we now are πŸ™‚
      Thank you for sharing kind lady, and being a photo nut myself, I will be partaking in buying a ‘hat’ for myself (when I get my new camera) πŸ˜€

      1. Yes, Mark, it is a long hard path to find ourselves, that I will agree to. Most people are not willing to change or to put in the effort so keep repeating the same dysfunctional patterns they were programmed with as children. There are days to this present time I slip back into the old patterns of low self esteem and while there I always learn something to bring back with me when my feet are once more securely on the Right Path again. Ah, this thing we call Life is nothing even close to what I thought it was, and the times when I do think I know, something there always happens to throw me in confusion again with me saying, “Huh?” Ironic, humorous and many times painful this path is yet ….. this is what we signed up for in order to grow. πŸ™‚

        1. Exactly Amy, and grow we will πŸ™‚ And to buy lovely new ‘hats’ so that we can do those things we love, with the ‘joy’ that we have discovered within πŸ˜€
          Thank you for sharing your ‘joy’ with us all, those photo’s you take always bring a smile to my face <3

    1. Good girl Kristin. It has tested you many times my friend, but slowly that rose is opening, and the glow can be seen for miles…especially in your words on your blog <3 πŸ˜€
      My thanks for your words to me, they are taken with the love they are given kind lady…always <3

  12. Thanks for sharing Mark. I’m still near the beginning of my journey to find my inner joy but hearing your story gives me hope that the day will come when I have that experience also.
    God Bless my friend

    1. Oh you will Joel! It is a journey we all take, from the cradle to the grave to find that beauty within. It is the only thing we take with us in the end…that understanding of self love…it is the only thing that we do down here that IS unconditional. And when we ‘see’ it, it opens the heart like nothing else in its inner beauty…like a flower opening to radiate something that stops us in our tracks to admire and appreciate.
      And appreciate it we do, because of the hardships it has taken to reach this place…that joy of slogging to the top of a huge mountain, and then standing at the top to appreciate what it has taken to reach this place, and admire the view that it has given forever. Never to be taken away because it is yours, and yours alone because you have conquered it.
      Always have hope Joel, because it is a promise that God gave…He gives His love unconditionally, regardless of what we do, BECAUSE He is unconditional. He knows that we will trip and stumble because it is needed in finding the love in our hearts, and we cannot appreciate our journey unless we do. And in that appreciation we slowly understand that unconditional love that He has given us, time and time again. He wants us to succeed, so He unconditionally allows us to have conditions on all that we do, until we finally ‘see’ His love for what it is, and release our conditions to become like Him….unconditional love.
      Follow that love within, and it will lead you home.
      May He bless you in your stumbling, for it has great purpose…appreciate it for what it is, not as a terror in your life, but another step to the top of that mountain πŸ™‚

    1. Yes it is Pam, and I think that is why it IS hard work. As you go through those pains in life, in the end you really appreciate all that hard slog to really find who you are within, and it brings out a joy like nothing else because of it.
      Thank you for sharing, may your life be an appreciation of your journey πŸ™‚

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