How do you see?
Poet John O'Donohue once said, "The joyful heart sees and reads the world with a sense of freedom and graciousness."
The way we all interpret the things around us may be different, but for me I’ve become like O’Donohue and see it with that sense of freedom and graciousness. Now, what does that mean?
The world is a very free thing with very little being permanent. Feelings aren’t permanent, situations are forever, and like the seasons we as people often change. But the ending word of the quote from Donohue makes the essence of what he is saying much different. He didn’t just say a joyful heart sees and reads the world with a sense of freedom, because as I aforementioned when we see the word “freedom” we think unlimited, or unrestrained. He added the word “graciousness,” which makes the freedom a timeless piece of hope.
When we see the world, we shouldn’t restrict ourselves from doing the unthinkable and we shouldn’t fear moving from our comfort zones. With a joyful heart we are able to accept the things we cannot change and look forward receiving more of the unknown.
Many of us get in a place or a position and settle, quickly. We often think we’ve reached our goal and destination. But with a joyful heart we’ll see that even our immediate and long-term goals are free to change, graciously. Our end result may be something transformed from our old goal and has us in a place we never thought existed.
For me, I have to accept that. In reading O’Donohue’s quote, it immediately struck me. I’m happy doing the things I do. But does it mean I have to contain myself, or limit my abilities to continue doing these things that I know makes me happy? No it doesn’t. I should understand that sense of freedom and graciousness and know that the end is unknown and ever changing. A goal is merely a map that positions us near the things we want to achieve. The things we want to achieve are limitless, free.
Interpreting and understanding what it means to have a joyful heart could be the x-factor that prevents us from going beyond and seeing the freedoms of the world. That could be the very thing that keeps us from achieving our full potentials. Once we are truly happy, then we can see and read with a new lens; a long-term and ever-evolving lens that doesn’t limit our success.
It’s important we live happy. It’s important we see the world as an endless possibly. Our biggest problem is not that others hold us back or limit us, it’s that we fear making our own step of change. A free and gracious change.