November 29, 2011
Article by Manfred Kramer
In today’s article series we consider a really important quality. Joy! It is the one goal of all qualities we wish for at any time.
There are, again and again, moments in our life that instill fear in us that make us believe that life consists of want and resistance. Thus, we spend most of our time searching for causes and triggers and are so inclined to just adapt to these difficulties in life. This robs us of energy and spoils our zest for life. Many feel to be in a vortex of envy and devaluation by others and so have the desire to escape.
Often, we think it is better to lead an ordinary life. Even though there is no gain in that, at least there will be no disappointments; after all, we did not want to go after the bigger things in life! So we have given up our desire for happiness, our ‘love of our life’, and joy, and so now we just concentrate on better functioning in daily life; more like a machine. What a life!
In my experience there is one thing I can say with certainty: A person that has given up joy – the experience of joy – is already in some state of a dying process.
Unfortunately, many people have stopped being enthusiastic or joyful.
Some people simply withdraw from an active lifestyle and are just running on ‘automatic’; every day is like a pattern that does not change from one day to the next. This condition shows monotony, passivity, and really progressive senility.
More and more young people have succumbed to that thinking and lead a life without enthusiasm, zest for action and confidence. It makes one think, since life is not dependent on sorrow and boredom, but joy and emotion.
While observing nature we find many wonderful things among the plant- and animal kingdom. Nature seems to be designed to give us joy, and shows us what is possible through its variety in color and diversity.
Joy – an unlimited force!
To be filled with joy is an essential condition. Joy is life’s elixir and can be considered a life-booster and –extender. Joy helps to overcome problems much faster. We all are affected by it. Our self-healing mechanism is accelerated by joy and we realize the purpose of life much better. Hardly anyone will ask himself about the purpose of life when he is experiencing joy – just the opposite: he enjoys life and expresses this joy with joyful shouts.
We can see that joy is like a vitamin shot that energizes and adds purpose and meaning to our life. Joy can also be likened to a stove top that brings our life to bubble.
Question: How do I get more joy in my life?
It is most important to cease to evaluate ourselves. When we feel good we see ourselves in a positive light. When we feel bad we tend to invalidate ourselves quickly. That should not be.
True joy results from our unconditional acceptance of ourselves – in good as well as in bad conditions.
It can boost morale quickly when one realizes that she is a valuable person even though she may feel down.
An important mental exercise to overcome sadness or pessimism would be following: Tell yourself and think: “Even though I feel sad and down, I accept and love myself!”. Or: “Even though I am not accepted and am rejected, I accept and love myself!”.
When we accomplish to accept ourselves when feeling down and rejected we will be able to quickly change in to a positive attitude. This exercise should be done regularly so that our thinking and feeling can form accordingly. It is not a recipe for all negative feelings; but it is a first step, an important one.
When we always complain about how this or that is bad, or that we feel bad about this or that, and at the same time we are not willing to do this little exercise, we then testify that we really have no interest in feeling better. Some people just indulge in feelings of negativity and sadness.
When we, on the other hand, tend to counteract our negative feelings with thoughts of acceptance, we will fast change into a state of positive emotions and condition and so develop more love and acceptance. That is the essential point.
Joy can only be developed when we love ourselves. If we do not love ourselves then we will never be able to experience true joy in life. That is like a law of nature. Joy is dependent on the condition of ‘self-acceptance’.
When we love ourselves every day a little more, accept ourselves a little more, give ourselves a little more respect and validation, then we will experience more joy and harmony in our lives. It is almost like a miracle and we will become more joyful, open-minded, and happier.
Please, try it yourself and counteract your current trouble and negative feelings – and it does not matter how negative these feelings are – with this thought:
“Event though I feel like … so and so…, I still love and accept myself!”
You will see, it works wonders!
I am always open to suggestions,
Stress-free Living Ahoi,
Word of the Day:
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer”, Return to Tipasa, Albert Camus, 1954