Tag Archives: joy

Being the Same


Henri Nouwen is one of my heroes. His perspective on people, faith and life is inspiring. However, I often find myself experiencing this internal tension when I read something that he wrote- first there is pure amazement at the eloquence and honesty of his words, but then envy creeps in and I immediately become jealous and wonder why I can’t write like that? This is not one of my finer qualities.

So with that disclaimer, read this because he says it far better than I can or ever will:

“At first sight, joy seems to be connected with being different. When you receive a compliment or win an award, you experience the joy of not being the same as others. You are faster, smarter, more beautiful, and it is that difference that brings you joy. But such joy is very temporary. True joy is hidden where we are the same as other people: fragile and mortal. It is the joy of belonging to the human race. It is the joy of being with others as a friend, a companion, a fellow traveler.”

I find it humbling that in so many areas of my life I strive to be different. I think we all do. We all want to be unique or set apart. We want our writing style or our blog or our fashion sense to be set-apart and special. I like it when my friends compliment me on something that I’ve made or praise me for some random fact that I’ve shared simply because it was different or unique. It feeds some part of me that seeks to be known and viewed as one-of-a-kind. But in reality, I think Henri is right– these compliments and shorts boosts of self-esteem for not being different from other people only brings temporary joy.

And who wants temporary, or fleeting joy, right?
What I long for in life is real joy.

Perhaps this joy comes from admitting to each other and ourselves that we are all really the same?

We come as broken and fragile beings, who actually need each other. Maybe we should stop striving to be different and instead try acknowledging that there is joy in being the same.

Quote Credit (and basically all thoughts and inspiration goes to): Mr. Henri Nouwen.

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Joy


Mornings are not my favorite time of day. My roommates and family can attest to this. For me mornings are usually accompanied by a consistent snooze button, some whining, and (I am embarrassed to admit it) some occasional moaning. Somehow I came to believe the fallacy that once you’re an “adult” you will naturally and happily just wake up, bright and early every morning. Oh, was I wrong. I feel like by most measures of adulthood I count as a “real” adult, but I have yet to figure out how to wake up early in the morning and enjoy it. I mean who really wants to get out of bed when it’s dark and cold?

Because I tend to sleep in as late as possible, this means that my mornings tend to be a bit rushed. I feel this looming pressure (i.e. the 1st period bell and 20 sleepy-eyed faces) to hurry. So I scramble around the house, leaving cupboards open, throwing clothes on my bed and using one hand to put on make-up and another to blow dry my hair (yes, I am an incredibly good multi-tasker : )

Finally, with my 2 bags slung over my shoulder, my keys in one hand and my to-go cup in the other, I make it to my car. phew. In a weird way sitting in my car brings a sense of comfort. I have almost no interruptions. I don’t talk on the phone. I don’t even listen to music. For those 12 minutes on the way to work I sit and think and pray and….my favorite part, drink my tea.

This morning I was in a hurry (no surprise) so I grabbed a tea bag from our smorgasbord of tea assortments in the cupboard and dropped it in my to-go mug. In a quiet moment once inside my car I noticed the little red tea tag dangling from my mug. It read the word “JOY.”

Hmm. I wish it were always this easy to have joy in the morning.

Tazo Tea makes a Joy tea that only comes out during the Holidays. I love it. I think it seriously increases my joy and happiness in the morning. Who knew?

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