By Dominick Jean
You've seen it a hundred times over. The smile that grows and threatens to overwhelm your face. The wrinkles that form around eyes as they twinkle with that burning light. The laughter that bubbles up from deep within and echoes unapologetically throughout the room.
These are visible signs of something far more mysterious.
Something mysterious called joy.
I want to be clear though before continuing. I'm not referring to the laughter and smiles that come from mockery, dirty jokes and other such things. I'm talking about the deep-seated realization making those things unnecessary.
The realization that you and I have a "reason for our hope," that life is truly good.
This joy doesn't make our suffering less, our heartbreak cease to exist or anything like that. I'd be lying if I said it did and you'd know that.
But joy illuminates our path, it helps us to dance through the thorns of this life a little more elegantly, to sing a little louder and to shine a tiny bit brighter.
St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta (God bless am I right?) said that joy is strength and not only that but that joy is "a net by which you can catch souls."
What is more attractive, more beautiful, more gosh darn magnificent then someone truly joyful?
Not a whole lot, in my opinion.
Men and women truly come alive when they are filled with joy, their beauty shines like a beacon for us all about the possibilities.
I've seen this joy in children, cancer patients, the blind, married couples, priests and others. It breaks my heart open, in the best possible way, to see this joy in those around me. They help us recognize joy ourselves and take a step towards the same realization.
Joy isn't some grandiose one-time only decision. Rather, it is an every day choice to look at the world, even with all its suffering and see 7 billion beautiful souls, including your own.
You're going to make mistakes. Sorrow and suffering will hit you. Someone will likely break your heart if they haven't already. Guess what?
In those cracks around your heart you'll feel this amazing thing trying to sneak inside. Your friends, family and lvoed ones will carry it into your brokenness.
It's called joy. Mirth. Laughter. Love.
Joy is our strength, accept it, embrace it and then spread it. I'm happy to say I'm prone to suffer joy and laughter often. Join me.