I remember a wonderful moment in an episode of "Star Trek; The Next Generation." Lieutenant Worf, dressed as one of Robin Hood's Merry Men, declares, "Sir, I protest... I am not a Merry Man!" https://youtu.be/ri5S4Hcq0nY

I echo his declaration. I am not a merry man. Neither am I a happy man. Yikes! That sounds negative doesn't it?

However, I am not concerned because my life is full of Joy. Joy flows from my heart. Constantly. A never-ending stream. I sing all the time. Music accompanies me wherever I go. People think I am happy. I am not. But I am joyous.

Happiness, to me at least, depends up on an old-fashioned word: happenstance. A happy collision of favourable circumstances. It's based on certain 'things' having to work in our lives. Happiness is for amateurs!

Joy is independent of circumstance.

My life doesn't work. It never has. Probably never will. I am not happy. Probably never will be. The spirit of cancer is attacking many of my family and friends at the moment. I cannot be happy. I refuse to be happy.

But I rejoice – I have joy in their presence. This is very, very, critically different. Fundamentally different. Essentially different.

Those of us who face mental-health challenges as well as physical-health challenges may reasonably assert that there is no place for happiness in our present circumstances. Happiness is inappropriate.

But there is always space for joy. From the heart. From within. And shared between us. And in between each tear. This is why I am a fan of Joy.

So, how can we tap into more and more joy? Where is that endless fountain?

The Psalmist believed there was 'Joy' in God's presence. I'd latch onto the concept of 'presence' to begin with.

I have joy (and sorrow) in the presence of my family members and friends who are suffering. I grow my joy in the presence of my Granddaughters. In the presence of my sons, I nurture the seeds and fruit of joy. They are my pride and joy.

I feel my joy in the presence of the music that links me to my past, my present, and my dreams – that music that is an echo of the songs flowing from my heart.

I experience joy in the presence of my natural flow: being creative, being in nature, creating, giving, bearing fruit.

I discover joy in the presence of the birdsong every morning. Their pointless anthems hold the secret to infinite purpose: gratitude.

I am soaked in joy in the presence of the flow of water over me in the shower each day – lost in those few precious moments. Simple pleasures. Celebrated.

Recognising those in whose presence you experience Joy is my wish for you today: I wish you Joy. I hope you'll awake to the presence of those who really count.

A Moodscope member.


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