Joy – What Does it Actually Mean?



What Does it Actually Mean?
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JULY 2023

Written by Tina Bishai

Joy may seem like an illusive concept to many of us. But I don’t believe it has to be that way. Let’s first define what joy is so we are all on the same page. Spiritual joy is something that you have and feel inside of you, regardless of the circumstances you may find yourself in. It’s a kind of peace, presence, and stillness within you because you are deeply connected to your own heart, which is where you find God/Source. This space within you transcends your fears and limitations that you believe to be true. This means that Joy can be felt even in hardship because the One Source is always present with you.

That might be a tough one to swallow, especially since we are so accustomed to feeling happy when things are going well for us, and unhappy when we perceive difficult or challenging situations. But…..what if we have believed and perceived joy in a way that has kept it away from us this whole time?

“People often confuse joy with happiness, but they are not interchangeable. Joy is from within, regardless of what is going on around you. Happiness can be a blurred emotion, dependent on the situation. Joyful people make a commitment to gratitude regardless of the circumstances.

In Greek, the word for joy is ‘chara.’ This describes a feeling of inner gladness, delight, or rejoicing. This inner gladness leads to a cheerful heart and a cheerful heart leads to cheerful behavior.” – Kelly Wise Valdes

Full and complete joy comes from asking the question, ‘How can this be for me?’ and truly meaning it. It also comes from knowing who you truly are – a beautiful creation, an Infinite Being. The more we can know this Truth and feel it in our hearts, the more we can feel connected to the Source of all that is and understand how interconnected we all are.

“Joy is an essential spiritual practice growing out of faith, grace, gratitude, hope, and love. It is the pure and simple delight in being alive.” – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat.

I believe we can rob ourselves of joy by believing that we aren’t getting in life what we want or deserve. That life should be easier, better, and happier, for whatever reason we may have. Yet, if we can keep bringing ourselves back to the knowing and Truth of who we are, and be in gratitude for the smallest of blessings we have, then joy is inherent in our presence.


Here’s an example. This morning, I drove to the local grocery store at 8 am. On the way there, I was thankful for the weather. I saw 3 ravens that were squawking and trying to get the attention of all around them. I asked them what messages they had for me, and they promptly guided me. Ravens are also associated with insight, transformation & intelligence. And the spiritual meaning of the number 3 is a symbol of creation, abundance, and manifestation. Such a beautiful morning drive so far, with meaning far beyond what the eye can see, all in about 5 minutes. After the quick market visit where I am grateful as I pay for the food I buy, I am back in my car and greeted by a ladybug on my window. Ladybug is another beautiful symbol – one of spiritual enlightenment, death & rebirth in the sense of renewal, protection, and wishes being fulfilled. Although the ladybug is small in size, it is fearless. It teaches us that fear cannot exist among joy, and brings a message of promise as it helps one get back in touch with the joy of living – by letting go of our fears and going back to our roots of love.

You see, I could have easily missed these beautiful messages had I not been present. And while I was present, I got to experience the gifts that were all around me. Reminders of how to be, reminders of the fact that I am loved and I am on the right track. These messages and experiences are all around you too. Are you present enough to see and notice them? To breathe them in? To feel the joy that is inside of you and all around you?

I could have easily been annoyed at the fact that I needed to be at the market by 8 am so I could have breakfast for my kids when they woke up, but instead, I chose gratitude and thanks. What can you see for yourself in your life that might feel different if you can perceive it differently? Ask yourself, how can this be for me? You’ll quickly start to realize that there is a flow and energy to life that brings us everything we ask for in perfect timing. You may say, “But Tina, I never wanted this to happen”. Or “How can something that is so bad be what I wanted?” Because we are vibrating beings, we are reflecting all that we feel and hold onto on the inside of us – our hidden emotions, fears, and worries that we work to keep hidden from ourselves as we think it’s too painful to look at. So until we learn how to see them, our life will continue on the path it is with the patterns we have experienced. If you’re wondering how to “see” your subconscious emotions and fears, I am happy to help support you on your journey to a beautiful transformative way of being and life. I’ve listed some ways to connect below.

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