UNENDING JOY – THE HALLMARK OF HEAVEN

The silver lining beneath every dark cloud conveys a glimmer of hope to succor anxious hearts. Silver linings become prominent only when the clouds are the darkest.

The pains and gains, sorrows and joys of life are relative and subjective. When the Covid pandemic struck the world towards the fag end of 2019 resulting in lockdowns and shutdowns making normal life difficult, nature had a gala time. There were images and videos being widely shared over social media of birds and animals moving around fearlessly in areas of otherwise busy human habitations, skies being clearer than in the decades earlier, seas healing up and natural colours appearing vibrant than ever before. Nature lovers savoured each glory that nature displayed – all while there was pain, suffering, deaths and tears going on in the background.

There is a cost for joy! Joy is never offered free on a platter. Consciously striving for joy never fetches it. You and I pass through numerous hardships and sufferings in the course of this lifetime, only to recognize ‘joy as joy’ when we come face to face with it (provided our senses haven’t been numbed by the intensity of hardships enroute meeting ‘joy’).

The story is told of a rich girl who married an aspiring young lad hailing from a poor family. The girl encouraged her husband to pursue his dreams and invested in all his pursuits. While he strived to fulfill his ambitions in a far away land, she waited patiently for him. Years passed by before fortune struck gold and days of prosperity flowed in. The man returned home to his wife with the jubilation of success, only to see his wife living a life of misery, sickness and loniless. She had sacrificed her all to see her husband joyous!!

No pain, no gain. No thorn, no throne.

However, it is not always so!

Not all pains end up in joyous gains. Not all thorns yield golden thrones. A woman having borne her child for nine months has short-lived joy of child birth when the same child raises his hand against her. So, I say that the concept of sorrow leading to joy is highly subjective and relative.

Having said that, I would also say that when joy does come after misery, no matter for how short a time span it may be, it is phenomenal.

We all yearn for joy in life. We wish and pray for misery to be shooed away from our lives and others. But if truth be said, as long as we are in the flesh, the pains of the life will cling on to us. We cannot taste ‘joy’ for what it is while we are in this world. The little trinkets of happiness are just silver linings which create within us cravings for joy.

Being a believer in the existence of heaven and hell after earthly life ceases, I look forward to the place ‘what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined,what God has prepared for those who love him’ – a place of absolute joy sans poverty, worries, anxieties, sicknesses and sorrows.

Our earthly cups of miseries would yield vials of joy in eternity if we strive to live our lives in acknowledgement of the Creator’s designs.

BE DIFFERENT TO GET A UNIQUE JOY

We all are in a pressure cooker life. Hope you know what i meant.
Yes, from the time we are born, we are asked to do things, meet the expectations of others and much more. In this hurdle, we forget what we like to do exactly and what we want from life.

I remember the time when i was in my twelfth standard and my results were out, i did score good marks, but again my expectations from life were different. I didn’t want to go for a normal medical /engineering stream, I wanted to explore something different in my life. My parents like other parents did not force me to, they let me choose what I wanted to study. I didn’t want to burden them with my choices too. Hence I chose a normal degree course which did get me the best time of my life, the best job i could land in and much more.
It was indeed the best choice, that going with the current flow of engineering and medicine which almost half of my class did. Glad that I was not in the rat race.
The same thing I apply for my kids, I don’t want them in a rat race and choose what they like not what society is expecting them to do. It does bring in joy, a fullness of contentment which nothing else can give me.

You might not be in a better position, but you will be in a happy position with your choices because you chose them for your self no for anyone else.
Joy comes into our lives in different ways, one is through the choices we make. The more we stress upon unwanted things, the more we damage the joy of life.
You need not go with the crowd, just because they are doing things in the same manner, which went on for years. There is no harm in choosing something you like. All it does give you is peace and joy.

Choose yours wisely.

DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY GIVES JOY OF A DIFFERENT KIND

Aquifers of joy spring from within and are manifested in many things that we do which further escalate the inner joy. Since joy is more intrinsically motivated than extrinsically, it carries with it an unalloyed innocent desire to bring joy to others around.

Being in a high ranking state government job, never was a deterrent to getting involved in family matters for my father during his career years. As his immediate family members, we have seen him as a workaholic as far as his official responsibilities were concerned. At the same time, he has been an involved family man.

On days that my mother took ill, we had my father don the apron, wield the ladle and dish out delicious food for the family. Yes, delicious! I mean it. The perfect sugar, salt and oil in whatever he decides to cook. He isn’t great at non-vegetarian preparations or desserts. But, all items of the daily cuisine have been mastered by him. In fact, there have been a few cooking tips and recipes that I have learnt from him, and not from my mother. Pickles are his forte. Coming to tea – by the fragrance I usually make out that he has made it. But, he only cooks for us – his family. It gives him immense joy. There are days in which my mother returns later than usual from work – only to find a full meal ready in the kitchen (well, this doesn’t happen always, but three out of five times for sure).

Not only cooking, he is great at cleaning too. When I was a child, I learnt many of the stain-removal hacks from him. Now we have so many stain removal chemical agents for our convenience, but I have learnt from my father which stains are removed by rubbing lime, which by petrol, which by kerosene oil, etc.

Once a neighbor uncle saw him cooking and asked him about it, assuming that perhaps my mother is an unwilling cook or a lazy bird for household chores. My father replied that he gets immense joy in doing the household chores for his family no matter how busy his official works may make him. It his family after all, and not someone else’s.

Not many men would be so involved in household chores. No matter whichever part of the world we see, household duties are considered to be a woman’s responsibility, not a man’s. It doesn’t matter how egalitarian the society is, gender role stereotypes prevail almost everywhere. And, not many want to break these stereotypes, no matter what the reason.

A part of this societal stereotyping and its aftereffects are there in my father. He doesn’t like it when we tell anyone about his expertise in handling household chores, for an apprehension of criticisms. At the same time, he joyfully continues to do all things for his family – even now in his retirement years.

I have never seen him grumble about any household chores that he does. One reason of course is because he does them out of his own free will. (And, before you think that my mother must be so blessed to have him help around, I must also mention that there are days she has had to chase him out of the kitchen or other work areas for messing with her plans and schedule or for adding on extra work for her because of his ‘help’.)

Doing things differently indeed gives immense joy!

JOY – A TREASURE WORTH ACQUIRING

Snow, rain and hail soak the ground enough to create underground water reservoirs. These underground water reservoirs take the form of natural springs and aquifers and replenish the earth while adding to the aesthetic beauty of the surroundings. Scanty rainfall reduces the groundwater level and dries up wells, springs and aquifers.

Joy is such a well spring that has its source from up above. It is a divine attribute, which unlike happiness doesn’t depend on what you and I do or don’t do. When our lives are soaked with the living waters from up above, the wellspring of joy rises from within.

If I am to give a reason for joy in my life, it is primarily because of the relationship that Jesus Christ has bestowed on me. Nothing that I do or don’t do, nothing that happens to me or doesn’t happen to me, nothing that I get or don’t get impacts that joy ever. It is different altogether.

There have been circumstances when storms have torn apart and ravaged through life, when injustice glared squarely in the face, when failures have sunk the spirit low, when weariness have pressurized the mind and suffocated thinking – all unhappy phases of life – but I have known the joy to have remained untouched. Tears have streamed down and the mind awfully rattled, but a strange joy overpowering them all has become prominent.

I have known, felt and understood that when the presence of God indwells a person, it generates joy from within. Manifestations of joy are different. It is not true that someone who can laugh heartily and make others laugh is a jolly person. Hence, external manifestations are not always good deciders of ‘joy’. A joyful person has a smiling countenance, but not all smiling people are joyful.

Is it possible to be joyful at all times? What about times of pain, sickness, bereavement, disappointments and loss? Can one be joyful during such times?

The Bible says, “Rejoice in the Lord always”. It is a command. I used to think of the all possible permutations and combinations of life situations that are likely to rock our lives and wonder if it is indeed practically possible to be joyful in such and such situations. That is when I understood that joy isn’t of human origin after all!

It is extremely difficult, but yes, one can be joyful during such times only by allowing oneself to be soaked with the living waters. That is why, it is a rarity to find joy and to be joyful in the truest sense of the term at all times, just as it is not common to spot wells, springs and aquifers on all grounds.

However, once joy permeates lives, it cannot be robbed by anyone or anything, unless one voluntarily gives it up. Such is its powerful presence. A treasure worth acquiring!!

MANTRA FOR JOYFUL LIFE

Mast Raho”, used to be my brother’s favorite dialogue. Whenever I would approach him during a problematic solution, he would calmly access and solve it, saying, “Mast Raho”, which means be carefree. Years down the line, he still solves all the problems easily. Easily, not because the problems aren’t grave, but because he looks for solutions, instead of worrying.

I was quite opposite and used to take tension the moment a problem would pop up in front of me. And I took a lot of time to shun the practice of worrying about all the big and small things in life.

There used to be a poster in my room, during my late teens:

Why Do You Worry?

You are either going to live or die.

If you live, there’s nothing to worry.

If you die, you are either going to heaven or hell.

If you go to heaven, there’s nothing to worry.

If you go to hell, you will be so busy shaking hands with your friends,

 that you won’t have any time to worry!

So, basically, the crux of the message was that there’s no point in worrying.

As we grow older, we get into the nitty gritty of the life complexities and so getting tensed or worrying is quite natural and unavoidable too. However, I have actually experimented this that when you pray to God, with all your faith, He listens. So, now instead of worrying, I have started praying.

So, ‘don’t worry, just pray’ has become my mantra.

Another thing that I have started following is- ‘don’t try to change others’ and simultaneously have accepted the fact- ‘to each his own.’ We all are born different and so have different interests and likings. So, if a person does what you don’t like, just ignore and accept that choices might differ! Yeah, that sounds difficult and even I am gradually trying to get this into my system! 

WHATEVER GOES AROUND COMES AROUND

What is the secret behind joyful life? I wouldn’t know. Currently life is not a bed of roses for me and I may not always be joyful. But one thing I have realized is that if you go hunting for joy and happiness it becomes more elusive.


Don’t go searching for joy. It just goes away from you. Just concentrate on living your life as best you can and you will not realize when the butterfly named happiness, contentment or joy comes and sits on your shoulder. I am saying this from personal experience.

My mantra in life is to live life with a smile on my face. Now here I give a disclaimer my family might not agree to this for they have seen all my foul moods and angry tantrums. That too happen. I am human after all.

But in general people call me the lady with an ever-smiling face. I like to greet even strangers with a smile on my face and most of the time it automatically transfers to the other person and a kind of warmth develops between the two. If you work in an office you must have realized that extra work or unscheduled work is at times dumped on you. What has to be done has to be done. But doing it with a smile makes the work more fun than doing it with a grumpy attitude. The work environment also becomes better and your colleagues also come out to help. But if you are grumbling and irritable every one will try to be away from you.


Secondly, I have tried to be helpful always. Whenever I have seen a friend or acquaintance or a colleague is stuck with something I have offered to help. At times the help offer is accepted and at times it is not. But still keep at it. Do try to help without a thought of what the other person has done for you. Do it unconditionally. And as the saying goes whatever goes around comes around. You offer help to the universe and the universe comes to your assistance when you need help.


Making a connect with the humans around you and having a general camaraderie makes our daily toils full of joy.

LIFE IS ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY

Finding joy in life is essential. But how do we go about it?

As it is said that one joy is a sorrow for the other. It is impossible to keep the scale balance the same for all. So how do we find what is true joy or what exactly is the principle for finding joy in life. 

It is hard, but again not impossible. 

Find out what truly gives you joy? 

Can you do that?

For some it is the joy of giving, for some, it is the joy of taking away. It is all about finding joy in your own way. We cannot blame the other, just because them attaining joy is a little painful for us. ?

Even a random smile from a stranger, care from a nurse or even the slight touch of a baby on a moms face, does bring in joy. 

Once you find out what exactly can give you a bundle of joy, then focus on it and work on it. As for me, writing is a joy. I forget my sorrows, my pain, my anger everything when i write and it is indeed the best thing in my life I ever discovered. 

Through my writing, I give people the joy of reading. But again there are few, who might not be happy with it, as they assume it is just a waste of time. They can’t be blamed, as it’s their perspective, not mine. 

But I do what I chose, As it gives me content and in turn a special joy. Finding what gives you content is important when it comes to joy. The moment you sacrifice your peace of mind, you lose the piece of joy from your life. Most of us are in a hurry to satisfy others, losing the conscience, but we all forget that the moment we find that keeping our conscience true and enjoying what we do is the true bliss of being joyful.

My cup of tea is my conscience, to which when I add the right amount of everything, it gives me the perfect sip which takes my stress away. And that’s my true joy.

I always follow these principles:

  • Always express gratitude in everything you receive. 
  • Be happier and forget the ones who hurt you. 
  • Carrying the grudge doesn’t help anyone but it only damages your soul. 
  • Do something, that brings in a smile within you. 
  • Work out or take a perfect walk outside into nature.
  • Feel the joy of giving.

Life is all about living, why waste it over something which never keeps us happy.