Thursday, April 14, 2011

Don't Hesitate

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate.  Give in to it.  There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are no wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still, life has some possibility left.  Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happens better than all the riches of power in the world. It could be anything, but very like you notice it in the instant when love begins…..

In my younger years I had a period where I was not proud of my behavior.  Though love was behind my actions, the strategies I picked to respond to the love had consequences for others.  A few days ago, after nearly 16 years I spoke with someone that had been negatively (and positively – ain’t that the way of things) impacted by me.  I was surprised to find her voice on the phone. After a few minutes I jumped right into expressing my regrets about my behavior in those days. She told me, “It has been forgotten.” 

Such a rich gift!  Such a joy! Not because I had been forgiven, but because I had a chance to redeem a time when my wisdom was not very apparent by speaking of harm.

Still I wonder, if we give into joy, may harm arise?  Is there any way to minimize the harm, or avoid it?  
Maybe not.

So my plan, dear Mary, is yes perhaps to let joy rule the day when it surprises me, but to communicate this with others and with my deeper wisdom so that we together come up with a plan where kindness and peace have a chance.

When have you give into joy with delight, or regret?

1 comment:

  1. I gave in to joy one day and expressed it exuberantly to a group of friends. Amongst that group was a young Italian man who took me to one side and reprimanded me: "It is not good manners to express joy in public places. You never know when you might offend someone who is feeling badly." I was immediately horrified at the thought that my joy might cause someone pain. Since then, I have been more circumspect about publicly sharing emotion. In this day and age of social networking, when we tend to share every moment and every range on the spectrum of emotion, it might be prudent to heed the Italian's advice. But what then, about the possibility that our joy might also lift others up? It is a slippery conundrum.