“Everything exists for joy. There is not one other reason for life than joy. We’ve got nothing to prove to anyone, because nobody other than All-That-Is is watching. In other words, we’re not trying to get brownie points from some other galaxy. We’re not trying to get someplace else; we’re not trying to get it done, because there is no ending—we cannot get it done. Everything exists for the purpose of joy in the moment.” – Abraham through Esther Hicks
I read recently that it’s important to learn something from tragic things that happen in our lives. This year my friend Jenn died at age 43 after her breast cancer returned and spread into her lungs and spine. She lived for just over a year after receiving her second diagnosis of cancer.
The biggest thing I learned from her in the final year of her life is the importance of joy, of being present in your everyday life and taking pleasure in many things, the small as well as the big.
Make no mistake, she suffered. Not only the physical pain of cancer and the emotional pain of saying goodbye to those she loved, but also depression, loneliness, and fear. These last three were things that she had struggled with for much of her adult life. Yet despite all of that, she enjoyed each day as much as possible.
Among her joys: the doves on her windowsill, treats from the Holy Donut shop, visits with friends, taking photographs, the adoration of her sweet Maine coon cat, dyeing her hair purple, sitting on the beach with her morning cup of coffee, buying new clothes as she lost more and more weight, playing with her nieces and nephews. Jenn was also able to experience her two most cherished “bucket list” items. With her best friend and her brother, she traveled to Florida while she was still well enough, to swim with the dolphins. Two weeks before she died, her favorite singer, Michael Franti, visited her in hospice and gave her a private concert. Not only that, he listened to her story and shared compassion, tears, and hugs.
In her final year, Jenn lived life to the fullest, as much as she could. She knew her time here was limited.
But isn’t that true for all of us? We’re all mortal. Sure, we may have many decades in front of us. But that’s still a limited number of days. Why not enjoy them? Why put off our pleasure in small things until later? Why not pursue our biggest dreams right now, and have fun doing it?
Not only that, but as the quote above describes, isn’t joy kind of the whole point of being here to begin with? We are spiritual beings having a temporary human experience, and as I understand it, we chose to do so because of the sheer fun and adventure, and of course the learning. Learning is joyful, especially when we choose it.
When we are fully present and embrace joy, our experience is enhanced, and we have more to share with loved ones and the world.
My word for 2014 is ENJOY, and I’m so very thankful to Jenn for inspiring me. Love you dear friend!