Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked

I have just seen another post about not believing what you see on social media. And (in the case of friends and family anyway) I disagree. Disregarding brands and influencers, I believe what you all are showing me. Just because we are only showing the good parts? So? I personally share what brings me joy. I know you all are sharing your joy too. And sometimes even your real, raw pain. But mostly joy. Okay look, we all know when filters have been applied, but who cares? If you are not comfy with your image at the moment but you want to share, what do I care?! We are all adults and we all know that being an adult is basically just constantly trying to dodge shitty landmines. So let people live, y’all!! Let them share their joy and hide their sorrow.

I really for the life of me can’t figure out why people care so much if it’s only joyful, filtered social media posts. You wouldn’t show up to a party without making yourself look nice and talking about the crappy aspects of life. You would be a social pariah! I honestly see no difference.

I probably never would have written about this but, I am an inconsistent (at best) listener of “Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations” and I happened to catch a recent one with Lupita Nyong’o. I am so glad that I did. In it Oprah reads a quote of Nyong’o, “Joy is not the absence of pain but happiness in spite of it.” Nyong’o credits Khalil Gibran which led me to track it down.

Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.

And he answered:

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep on your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you bare empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the reassure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your sorrow rise and fall.

Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

These inspired me to write because, well I suppose this resonates with me as I essentially started this blog journey due to the fact that I was worried I was misrepresenting my life. That it appeared to only be a travel adventure when in fact I had been suffering too. And I have been noticing several friends feeling as though they too need to let their feed know that they are also experiencing the crappy part of life on the other side of the lens. What I have come to realize, and I hope that my readers who quickly judge the “fakeness” of social media will realize, is that most are not masking it but rather basking in the joy. Because the sorrow will come again, soon enough, because they are inseparable. Because “joy is not the absence of pain but happiness in spite of it.” Let’s celebrate each others joyous moments, they are not fake. They are what keeps us balanced, healthy, and whole.

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