Anna Maria Locke

joy is untouched by circumstance


For quite a while I've been subscribing to (somewhat cheesy but totally awesome) motivational emails from the Brave Girls Club, a website, community, and blog dedicated to empowering women to be good to each other and themselves. Usually I delete the emails but every once in a while I'll read the message of the day, which always seems to relate perfectly to what is going on in my life. Today's email on the difference between joy and happiness hit me because I've been spending a full year now trying to figure out my path in life and learning what it takes to live in the present, have trust and faith, and connect to my true self despite constant challenges and the deep void of scary blackness that threatens to overwhelm me whenever my confidence starts to drop. Recently I have been feeling the joy because I've discovered a creative outlet that gives me purpose through knitting and painting. I've been doing pretty good lately on focusing on what is RIGHT in life versus what is WRONG.

So anyway, here's a bit of deep philosophical inspiration for your Tuesday. I hope it speaks to you too, and I also hope that it is warmer where you are than it is here in Chicago today (high of EIGHT degrees, you'll find me buried in fluffy blankets in front of the space heater all day)!

Dear Joyful Girl,

Joy is good. Did you know there is a difference between happiness and joy? This anonymous quote describes it perfectly:

"Joy is untouched by circumstance."

You see, happiness is sometimes fleeting. Joy is a state of mind -- that no matter what happens, no matter how much we had planned on a different outcome, that we will always center our lives on what is RIGHT rather than what is WRONG. We will trust the moment and the unexpected gifts that every moment holds -- even the scary, strange, and unexpectedly difficult moments. Especially those moments actually.

Even Oprah said it perfectly:

"What I know for sure is that you feel real JOY in direct proportion to how connected you are to living your truth" -- Oprah Winfrey

Living your truth means listening very closely to the very quiet voice that is constantly trying to get your attention. Living your truth means being very very still and seeking truth and beauty and goodness and small miracles all the days of your life. Living your truth means being exactly who YOU are, in spite of who and what others around you are. Living your truth is a joyful path -- a path that no circumstances can every rip you off of.

Joy can be felt anywhere, at any time, it any situation. This is the truth.

Go forward in JOY, brave girl!


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