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Love's Pure Joy

There’s nothing better than seeing someone you love, happy. Whether it’s your child, a parent, a sibling, or even a friend. The joy they feel seems to radiate through you. And before you know it, you feel the joy as if it were your own. Sometimes when you’re in a funk the best way to get out of it is, to share in someone else’s happiness.

Not too long ago my youngest son shared a video with his social media friends. He was teaching his daughter how to ride her bike without training wheels.

In the beginning, of the video, I could hear him encouraging her, “Keep going. You got it.”

After a moment or two, as she rode the bike across the grass without her dad holding on, I could hear her yell at the top of her lungs, “I got it!” Although I couldn’t see her face, the joy in her voice was totally infectious. I could ACTUALLY FEEL the joy she felt. Every time I replay the video (yes, I’ve watch it numerous times) my eyes fill with tears to hear the unadulterated JOY in her voice.

But the thing that touched me the most was my son’s reply to one of his friend’s comments on Instagram. He said, “This was the happiest moment of my life as a father.” That statement took my breath away. Seeing his daughter so happy, conquering her fears, and accomplishing something she didn’t think she could, gave him more joy than if it was happening to him. And seeing him so happy, made me happy too.

On the other hand, it doesn’t have to be our loved ones where we receive the feeling of pure joy. We can even receive pure joy from encounters with strangers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried over the videos where a soldier has a surprise homecoming for his or her family. Like when the boy threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a local minor league game. The catcher walked over to the pitcher’s mound to hand the ball back to the boy. As he does, he takes off his mask to reveal he is the boy’s dad who had been deployed for almost a year. Without hesitation, the boy jumps into his father’s arms and cries tears of joy. And there I was, crying right along with him. At the same time my heart swelled with the joy of witnessing the love between a father and son. It put me in such a good mood that I quickly forgot what had been upsetting me only a moment ago.

There is something about seeing someone truly happy that makes us feel warm on the inside. I don’t know if it’s chemistry, hormones, or what. I just know that when I am feeling down, instead of hibernating, like I usually do, I purposely seek out someone to help. Even a little thing can make someone happy. And seeing the look on their faces or hearing the happiness in their voice does something to me. It takes me out of myself and away from whatever issues I am currently having.

Sometimes the best way to fight whatever ails us, is to put a smile on someone else’s face, and to feel love’s pure joy.

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