Joy Banishes Loneliness.

Joy is a presence. When I’m happy it’s because I do not feel alone. Gone is that gnawing core of anxious ache that makes me think I must face the world alone and handle all my problems without help. Joy fills up this emptiness with a presence. Indeed this mysterious sense of presence is joy’s chief characteristic. There’s a fellowship, a secret companionship, an invisible embrace. Happiness comes wrapped in warmth because it’s literally like being hugged.

Joy, like love, banishes loneliness. Whereas love is specifically directed toward another person, joy has a softer focus. If love is the sun, joy is the moon and the planets — a reflected light. Just as the moon shines only because of the sun, so we are happy only because of the loving presence of the Other. We may not be consciously aware of the Other, nevertheless His presence is the reason for our joy.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 89

Photo: Rhododendron Park, Bremen, Germany, May 16, 2004

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