Embracing the Strange: Thoughts on Beauty and Joy

This is Joy. The one that comes in blankets and waves. Warming the skin, and sinking in, like sunrays on snowbanks in spring.  

This is Joy. The carrier of the knowing you have been waiting for. The trickster; the wise mentor; the friend. The one who leans in close, after months of wandering through fog, and with a playful wink, says: You've been on the right path all along!

This is where Joy lives: Here. In moments of pause. In moments you take in the life you are living with an open heart, and are surprised to find it more beautiful than you thought; more beautiful even than you imagined it could be.

Joy is the realization that you love your life not only for its perfection and clarity, but also for its unpredictable wildness and darkness and messiness.

Joy writes stories that exist only because you found the courage to embrace the unplanned and the strange. Joy is the beauty in bringing to life those new stories in your own tender and tentative way. 

Joy is possible only from peace, and peace is possible only from trust, and trust is possible only from listening to, and acting in alignment with, a deep inner truth; and listening is possible only from the willingness to let go of control over how things should look or should go.

So surrender to the fog if that is where you find yourself now, and listen for that small voice that knows. Trust it deeply even when the path is covered and the sky is grey. In the name of a wise and playful friend, Joy, trust that voice knows the way.

It will not be easy, at least not always. Some days the challenges will make you sick with their churning in your gut. You will be defeated and exhausted and heartbroken and enraged. You will be asked to let go when you want to hold on, and asked to hold on when you want to let go. You will be humbled, this I know.

Yet if you trust deeply, and if you walk ever so slowly, sensing your way forward from that deep inner voice, you will find that peace will always hold you; and that after the storm, the sun will return. The walk through the fog is always worth it.

Some questions will be answered in Joy’s early light, and though new ones will inevitably emerge, you will find that you were indeed on the path all along, and that you can now see beyond the next curve.

You will begin to catch glimpses of what is next, and that small voice inside you will urge: Take bigger, more confident steps, now. It is time for this next chapter to emerge. Love will flow and Joy will shout, to help you on your way. And those steps that you take, in those early days, will be nothing short of fantastic.

So, let there be fog and let there be light, and let there be weirdness in beauty. Let messiness seep through masks of perfection, and let certainty fade into wonder. Let us let go of the last chapter with the fog as it lifts, and let new stories be born of such unexpected delight that we can’t help but believe in magic.

And when Joy arrives in her trickster way, let us surrender to her play. Let us birth new from the old and old from the new, and something just for fun. Let us lift our heads and squint our eyes, and smile into the bright shining sun.