The Diligent Extravagance of Joy

“Joy is the will which labors, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph.”
~William Butler Yeats

Much of life is deeply existential and it feels harder than it often is. We are easily duped into thinking, and therefore believing, that the easy joys of life sit ever beyond our conciliation. It’s true; some seasons prove joy to be elusive. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Joy can be procured. It can be secured by sufficient resourcefulness. Joy can be brought to bear.

FIRST COMES THE MENTAL ATTITUDE OF POSSIBILITY

Before we invest in the work that creates joy we need to believe, genuinely from within ourselves, that we can achieve it.

When the possibility of joy is believed, faith is invested which is fuelled by hope. There is no question that hope can be borrowed. We don’t need to feel hopeful to see possibility if faith can sponsor our way, simply via a decision to act.

Possibility is a wonderful phenomenon. It breaks past the vestiges of lament, even momentarily interrupting a season of sorrow, to indwell the mind with openness, and to cause the heart to flourish in an eventual catharsis.

Truly, possibility opens the way for joy. Then all that remains is the vessel’s preparedness to work, to overcome, to triumph.

We are vessels for joy; if we wish it that way.

SECOND COMES A SUCCESSION OF PHYSICAL ACTS

Nothing good comes of this life without a little effort to get it underway. Sure, there are exceptions – the things that just fall into our laps – but these are isolated exceptions.

Joy is what gets things going in life, and, because it is such a go-getter, launching from the get-go, it produces sufficient inertia to overcome obstacles. And when obstacles are overcome there is the emergence of triumph.

Joy is no fair-weather-only friend; it is known anywhere and it is extravagant by effect.

There is hardly a better feeling or reward for faith than the acquisition of triumph in the midst of hopelessness. Times when there was no rational reason to continue, but where we did, realise the magnificence of joy that doesn’t give up – but just keeps working.

THIRD COMES A LONG MEMORY

Having tested the process, and knowing that, by faith, joy can take us so much farther, we are loath to forget the power within us that is afforded in just working.

Where we are prepared to work, we are prepared to be rewarded. But reward is not the reason we work. Reward may be seen as a by-product.

But easily we give up. Easily we forget. When we develop a long memory for the mastery of joy, however, that memory serves us well in wisdom for the future.

***

Joy comes by believing in possibilities, creating it through the will to act, and not forgetting how we got there, so as to produce more. Joy is a secret in overcoming.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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