In his book Christ on Trial Rowan Williams defines joy as “the sense of fundamental attunement to reality.”

Joy does not mean being happy with everything that is happening in my life. Joy is not a feeling of euphoria that carries me through each day on a pink cloud of jolliness.

Joy is living in tune with reality as it is. It means seeing life as it is and choosing to cooperate with the circumstances of existence as they are unfolding in the real world.

To experience joy I need to bring myself into alignment with what is. I need to open my heart to the truth of my circumstances, of the people in my life, and of the world we share. Joy chooses to live with eyes wide open and to cooperate with the way life works rather than insisting that it works the way I decide it should.

This is not resignation or defeat. It is simply honesty, clarity and reality. Joy is that settled sense of well-being that comes from opening to the reality of my circumstances just as they are and knowing that there is within me that which sustains me no matter what life may bring.

What aspects of reality do I resist? What helps me to open more deeply to a “sense of fundamental attunement to reality”?

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