The Urban Dictionary defines the word: “inJoy” as stronger then “enjoy.” InJoy is joy filling you from inside yourself. It’s having internal joy above and beyond the outside circumstances of life.
Enjoyment is a temporary fleeting experience. We enjoy a thick slice of ham and cheese pizza. But soon after the last bite has been digested, the feeling of enjoyment soon passes, and we’re on the hunt for something new to enjoy, something or someone to make us happy so we can experience pleasure again.
InJoy is different.
It’s an ever-deepening inner experience that shows up as awe and gratitude when life is throwing roses at our feet. And it persists as abiding hope when pleasure passes, when the outside experiences of life become disappointing, bitter, and unpleasant.
InJoy is the connection with an indwelling Presence we feel beyond words or understanding. We experience inJoy in our bodies as a warmth, a gentle breath or tingling in our chest that lets us know something beyond ourselves dwells deep within us. It sustains and empowers us as we connect with the Divine. Then, our emotions experience an inner peace and quiet that our minds cannot nor need to name.
InJoy connects us with our life-Source.
It’s the life-blood of our hearts.
Oxygen for our Souls.
InJoy allows us to go through tough or uncertain times and trust that we’re safe, because we’re being instinctively led and guided by an inner Presence of love and wisdom. And somehow our heart knows, listens, and is drawn by that sacred Presence. And as we pay attention, eventually our feet catch up with InJoy’s wisdom.
InJoy comforts us when we lose a job unexpectedly. It sees our loss as a nudge, an opportunity to move in a different direction, not knowing exactly where we’ll land, but trusting as we listen with the ear of our heart that where we land will be more abundant and life-giving than we could have imagined.
InJoy is that honest inner spirit that acknowledges our fear and anger when we get knocked off our feet due to a sudden illness. And then it sifts and sorts with us through the pain so we can find a hidden strength tucked safely within our soul. InJoy invites us, when we’re ready, to pick up the broken pieces, the chards of our wounded body, and dream again with God about our deepest desires as we rise again as wounded healers.
InJoy allows those who have struggled with alcoholism and addiction to find our knees and rejoice as we experience perhaps for the first time a God who is with us in the mud. A God who picks us up and leads us to a new life; who opens the doorway of our heart to a path that unfolds and guides us back home to who we really are. InJoy dusts off our messy past and uses it to create a fresh start.
I don’t understand why and how this mysterious Presence works. I’ve experienced it during those high-five times with God when life is going well. But I’ve also come to know it often during the dark nights of my life, when it has nudged and stretched me to grow.
InJoy, I’ve discovered, is as intangible and as real as love.
It has a taste and flavor all its own.
You cannot touch it with your hands, but you can know it with your heart.
Perhaps one of the ways we connect with it is to quiet our minds, still our bodies, and sit for a while alone in its Presence.
Opening our heart.
And when we do, our despair eventually turns into hope.
Our sense of being lost unfolds into being led.
And InJoy leads us to awe, a heart spilling-over with gratitude.
—brian j plachta
(my “come-back” piece)
Can you forgive yourself for being perfectly human?