Miracles News

July-September, 2017

What Is Joy?

by Rev. Barbara Goodman Siegel, O.M.C.

Rev. Barbara Goodman Siegel“What is joy?” A great question a friend of mine asked at a meeting where we were discussing A Course in Miracles. There were three of us at the table. I gave my definition which was that joy is being in peaceful happiness. The third woman gave her definition which was that joy was being in the present moment.

Neither answer resonated with my friend. She felt it should be more, greater than just happiness. After the meeting, the question kept rolling around in my head.

The next morning, after doing my ACIM reading, I decided to take the question into meditation and see what guidance I was given. The following is what I received and wrote into my journal:

“Joy — the ability to love without fear. Can you imagine how wonderful that would be? No matter who or what the circumstance, you love what is without fear, without judgment, and without evaluation of worthiness. With this love is a total release from any guilt and that, my dear, is joy. No guilt, purity of thought and deed, no thought of gain or loss, no evaluation of fairness or unfairness, just love, like the waves of the ocean, always moving, constantly creating, never standing still in the moment that was; filled with life and with the possibilities of life.

That is what you are, the creator of life, not as in birth, but as in God’s eternal life. What you give is eternal life through love and forgiveness. See yourself as innocent and you will be in joy. See yourself surrounded by God’s Love and you will be in joy. See yourself washed clean of all error and guilt, and you will be in joy. Practice seeing this — don’t wait for a bolt of lightning to hit you with it. Practice and it will become habit. Be present, be alert and practice all I have suggested.”

After meditation, I looked up “Joy” in the Webster’s dictionary. It said: “A state of happiness or felicity.” Then I looked up “Felicity” and the dictionary said: “the quality or state of being happy, great happiness.” So, it appears that both answers given at the meeting were correct: be happy and be present (which I interpret as be aware).

What do I want today, now, in this present moment? I want peace, I want to feel love, and I want to be in joy. Joy is a choice; it does not come from something outside. It is an inner knowing, an inner shift from fear to love, and when you are aware of your willingness to make that shift, put a smile on your face in acknowledgement of it and then affirm: I am in joy!

Rev. Barbara Goodman Siegel, O.M.C., is a Pathways of Light minister living in St. Louis, Missouri. Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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