This past week it has occurred to me that save a cranky moment here and there - the primary emotion I feel lately is joy. Not contentment or satisfaction or good...but a real and heightened sense of joy and aliveness and amazement.
When Blaise Pascal had his "moment" - his experience of God, he cried out, "Joy, joy, joy...not the god of philosophers and scholars...the god of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac." He was reading in the book of John, and it just came to him, in the moment. I get that. That overwhelming sense of connection to something greater than myself - that brings a sheer sense of joy.
I find myself without words to describe just how good I feel (although apparently I'm trying). I've started exercising again - and perhaps it's the endorphins...but I almost feel as if I've fallen in love. With life. I'm laughing, smiling and loving everyday. Rather than feel weighed down by all of the responsibility of my life...I just feel joy. As I observe the world around me, I see so much light and love. In the people I know, in the places I visit and in the simple, everyday stuff of life. I have no logical explanations why or why now - but I feel it. And it brings me back to the faith again and again. I feel a sense of the holy in and around and through me that is at once incredible and moving.
On the lighter side, I have been contemplating piercing my nose...which at nearly 35 sounds a little crazy, even to me. It's something I've wanted for a long time, but for reasons of timing and my station in life (read: employers who would've fired me over it), I've never been willing to do it. The funny thing is all the laughter I've had from thinking about this, and the folks that I love who have weighed in on the subject...many years ago I made a proclamation in front of witnesses that I would either pierce my nose or love a man who wore earrings (and I meant more than one) before I died. It was a statement made on a beach surrounded by the love of my friends, and after a few glasses of Chardonnay. At the time I was admiring from afar a man who was serious, conservative (not politically, but socially I think) and who likely would never have worn an earring of any kind. When news of my pending nose piercing circulated among my friends, they've gently reminded of my long-ago statement made on the beach - and I'm laughing still. And perhaps I'm going to have work on one of those options soon. Although I don't know that I'm ready to offer my love to a man right now, with or without earrings, I do feel as if the cloud of my divorce and relationship turmoil is lifting, and I can see a day when I will want to be in relationship again with a man. I'm not against a guy with earrings coming along, but it's not my top priority at this point in my life.
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what to do with this new sense of happiness. It seems foreign to me. My heart has hurt for a long time - and to feel a new sense of wholeness - of healing - well it's almost a shock to my system.
I think I've spent an inordinate amount of time on self-reflection and contemplation this past year, and it all seems worth it in this moment. To feel the joy of a new knowledge of myself and the love of God. To feel at peace with who I am and who I am becoming. While I know my journey is nowhere near completion, I am enjoying the view these days. I feel the words of Pascal, "O righteous father, the world has not known you, but I have known you. Joy, joy, joy...tears of joy."