This afternoon, I had a conversation with my hair stylist, Dan. Not surprisingly, he brought up the very same issue that I had been dealing with over the last couple of days.
Dan lamented a long ordeal with AT&T regarding a double billing for his Internet service. His frustration over the time spent on hold, being transferred from one department to another & then, of course, the almost inevitable disconnection, was witnessed by one of his employees, Imelda. She said to him, "Don't let them steal your joy." That idea helped him to decompress almost immediately.
I let Imelda's words sink in for a few minutes. "We always see others as the stealers of our joy, don't we?" I asked Dan. "I'm wondering if it would be better for us to say, 'Don't give them your joy', since no one can really steal it from us. We're the ones who choose to give it up."
"Yeah," he said. "I like that." Naturally, Imelda walked up, again, at that very moment. We both laughed & he told her we were revising the quote.
Once I start diving, watch out – I can revise & revise only to get to the same conclusion as always, which is that words are limiting & that there are endless streams of perspectives to be found on the dive.
"However, I like giving my joy," I said. "That's why I have it – to enjoy & to give it. So, we're not there yet. I'll have to work on the revision a little more."
Imelda laughed & said, "Let me know when you have it."
"I'll send a memo," I said.
Driving home, I continued to toy with the phrase. Don't relinquish your joy. I'd rather state it in the positive. Hang on to your joy. No, that still leaves us holding the thing meant to be shared.
Ahhhhhh. Joy is a state of being. Be joy. I am joy. As joy, I can't be in any other state. How's that? ….for now.
What do you think? Do you believe others are responsible for "stealing your joy"? Do we give away our power to be joyful when we hand the responsibility for it over to others? When you lose touch with a joyful state of being, how do you recover it?