Wednesday, December 16, 2009

From Joy to Pleasure

Struggle for Pleasure,
originally uploaded by Mariangela ♠ Neve.

I think it is time to redefine my perception of 'joy.' It is something that is notably absent in my life. And until a time arrives that I recognize joy as I once did, it will remain absent in my life. I don't know what else to do. The here and now is all I have. I don't have a crystal ball to look into. Even if I did, I don't know that I would want to see if, and when, joy would re-enter my life.

To understand what I feel missing from my life I first needed to truly understand it's meaning. As a kid my brother's and I would often ask our Dad, "what does....mean?" His response would often be the same, "go look it up in the dictionary." And the apple does not fall far from the tree. Whenever my kids ask me, "what does ....mean?" My response typically is, "go Google it."

So here is the result of my Google search.

Joy –noun
1. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation: She felt the joy of seeing her son's success.
2. a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated: Her prose style is a pure joy.
3. the expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety.
4. a state of happiness or felicity.

Well, in my state of grief, each of these are greatly foreshadowed by my loss. You would think I'd have a leg up on #3, but these days I am probably the least festive gay in the village.

I want joy in my life again. I want to experience it. I know that it will be awhile before I can recognize joy, and hold onto it for more than a few seconds. I also know that it will difficult for me to be open to the thought of joy that doesn't include Michael. And, the joy that I need in life cannot be based solely on the past.

Perhaps I need to begin with an stepped down way of looking at life. Maybe joy is too much to expect given my current experience. Maybe I am aiming far too high. What I need to is change my expectations. I need to seek something that may be more attainable, something like 'pleasure.'

1. the state or feeling of being pleased.
2. enjoyment or satisfaction derived from what is to one's liking; gratification; delight.
3. worldly or frivolous enjoyment: the pursuit of pleasure.
4. recreation or amusement; diversion; enjoyment: Are you traveling on business or for pleasure?
5. sensual gratification.
6. a cause or source of enjoyment or delight: It was a pleasure to see you.
7. pleasurable quality: the pleasure of his company.
8. one's will, desire, or choice: to make known one's pleasure.

This sounds good to me. I think I can do 'pleasure.' Life is about compromise, and that is okay with me. I'm not saying that I will never know joy again, I would love to be surprised by it one day. I just know that it's not in the cards for me right now. And rather than walk around my world feeling disappointed, I can learn to let go of the expectation. I can learn to find, experience, and appreciate pleasure in my life.

I thank you for checking in with me today.

It has been a pleasure.

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