An Exploration of Enjoyment

What is the meaning of the word ‘Enjoy’?

I was asked this question today by a friend of mine, for whom English is not their primary language. It was a strange thought for me to have at first because I use this word quite a bit. I have become     accustomed to saying this phrase for almost everything. When someone is about to eat, I say, “Enjoy!” When someone is going on a trip to somewhere they have never been, I tell them, “Enjoy!” When someone is crying in sadness from a recent loss, I tell them (in a compassionate way) to enjoy. I truly believe that all of life’s experiences are meant to be enjoyed.

But what does it mean to truly enjoy something? According to the Oxford dictionary it means “to take delight or pleasure in.” When I asked my heart the meaning behind this word, I received a surprising and inspiring answer. To enjoy is a state of being where someone is literally In Joy. So what is joy? For me, joy is a much higher state of gratitude, appreciation and awareness. When I enjoy a nice meal, it’s as if my whole body is vibrating at a higher frequency. Every part of me is singing out, “Thank you for this experience!” I want to shout to the universe, “Thank you for this incredible gift that is bringing such energy, such emotion, such life throughout my whole body!”

Thus, when I tell someone to enjoy their sadness, to enjoy their pain, what I am really saying to them is to appreciate the experience they are receiving to the fullest. Live, breathe, smell and sense every part of the gift that your emotions, your environment and the great Spirit is giving you by allowing you to be here, to be present, to be alive.

One may wonder why I felt the need to go to such lengths to analyze a word, an expression. However, lately in the spiritual teachings I have been receiving, I am learning the importance behind the words we speak and I’ve been feeling the urgency to bring greater intention and awareness to how we are allowing the energy within us to find physical expression in this world. By becoming aware of our words, our movements, our thoughts and our heart beat we can begin to move closer towards achieving our destiny.

I do not speak of destiny here in the material form, but in a way that author Baba Ifa Karade describes. In The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts he writes, “Destiny (ayanmo), from a religious point of view, describes a person’s return to the inner realization of primal essence or divine being…humans must return to their divine nature. It is a human being’s destiny to reach or return to her/his divine state internally-heavenly and to live upon the earth-plane existence as a reflection of that divine state. This is the supreme reason for true religious involvement.”

As more and more of us move towards embodying our divine selves here on this earth, we can move closer and closer towards living in peace and harmony with ourselves and our environment. We can also come closer to filling that void, that longing that lies within each one of us which calls for that higher part of ourselves, the calling for the divine. It is the love call from Psyche to Eros as she travels through the darkness to find her true love. It is the crackle of wood burning as the fire starts to dance. It is the sigh coming from the baby enjoying their mother’s milk after a tearful cry. It is the realization we always have everything that we could possibly need…so all that is left is to ENJOY!

 

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