The Soul’s Joy – Summer Solstice 2009
Summer Solstice: the Sun is at its Apex; giving us the longest day, and shortest night of the year. It is time to honor the Light within and without, time to celebrate and appreciate all the gifts of the Sun – light, warmth, life, joy!
Here is one of my favorite quotes from Rumi, a Sufi mystic. I’ve been contemplating its meaning for years.
“The soul is here for its own joy.”
What freedom there is in this thought! Can you imagine? Anything that helps our souls feel glad and joyful is exactly what we “should” be doing! Doesn’t that turn the usual “to do list” mentality on its head?
But what is joy? To me, joy is not mere happiness. Joy is: an expanding heart, a gladness of soul, a feeling of gratitude to/for all that is, a desire to sing and dance in praise to the Source of Life, a welling up of praise and worship from the depths of the soul, a feeling of the soul taking flight out of pure gladness.
When do you feel this kind of joy? Perhaps at the birth of a child, or immersion in meditation or a creative project, or at a moment of supreme beauty: wonderful music, a glorious sunset, a dawn-blooming rose bejeweled with dew.
What if we kept joy journals to honor and develop our capacity for joy?
How do you avoid joy? I doubt anyone except perhaps a few saints have actually died from joy. However, the ego-personality often does feel threatened when the soul stretches its wings in gladness. We fear to lose our familiar small selves if we open to this intangible soul’s joy.
What is the soul? The soul is as much of a mystery to the ego-personality as the butterfly is to the caterpillar. Yet we are woven of the same substance. We are each an expression of our souls.
Perhaps our souls are secretly guiding us to spin the proper chrysalis (our personalities) within which the soul can mature and develop its mysterious and unknown wings, only to take flight upon our deaths, leaving behind our little withered shells.
Perhaps through our adventures and struggles in this life, through our various spiritual practices, and/or attempts to live in accordance with the Will of Spirit, we are each developing a Gift for – call it what you will – God, Spirit, Being, The Oneness We All Are.
What is this Gift? Our inimitable souls, the unique joy of our own souls!
Could it be that the most important thing is to surrender to joy, to surrender to the needs of our souls, these gifts for the Universe that we are incubating within these chrysalis-personalities, these challenging lives here on Earth?
May we allow ourselves to feel those mysterious wings stirring
as our souls lift in joy toward the Sun of Love!
What are your answers to the questions I’ve explored?
What is joy?
When do you allow joy?
How do you avoid joy?
What is the soul?
What is your soul’s unique joy?
Your responses, comments or questions are welcome. I’d love to hear from you!
All art and writing by Rahima Warren.