How to Choose Joy
Have you noticed there's been a lot of talk about "joy" lately? The word has been popping up on feeds, videos and blog posts more than usual I feel.
Or maybe it's just me?
I think subconsciously this made me start reading The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Douglas Carlton Abrams. It's about a week-long conversation His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV and Archbishop Desmond Tutu had on the subject of suffering and joy, and it's absolutely jaw-dropping.
One quote particularly stood out to me and left me with a blank stare on my face, pondering its' weight:
"We create most of our suffering, so it should be logical that we also have the ability to create more joy."
-Dalai Lama XIV
So wait...we can CREATE joy, just like we create our suffering?
I know you'll say: "I'm not the one creating all the suffering, the situation that's happened to me has, and there IS so much misery out there!"
There is no denying that horrible, universally inhumane situations exist and awful things happen all the time.
I'm mostly referring to our daily stressful life situations, the ones that we deal with after our basic human needs and rights have been met.
What causes our joy or suffering is how we choose to perceive the situation. It's all about how we feel, what thoughts and expectations we've attached to it and it's rarely the situation itself that's the root of our pain or even our joy.
Also, think of this: the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu have both faced and survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Yet they've still found the courage to celebrate life and be joyful.
How have they done it?
They consciously CHOOSE to see the situation from a different perspective. They could've spent all these years in misery, feeling sorry for themselves and could've remained a victim of their circumstances.
But they didn't.
We can't always control what happens, but we ALWAYS have a choice in how we react to it. We can choose to suffer for a long time or we can choose to progress and move away from pain.
We can CHOOSE joy.
It's comforting to know that, don't you think?
I created this worksheet a few months back when I was going through a rough period and it helped me a lot. Maybe it's something you may find useful right now. Or maybe you want to share it with a friend that might need this today.
Feel free to e-mailing me your thoughts on the worksheet or this email. Looking forward to connecting with you!
Until next time.
Stay brave and live life!
Professional Creative Warrior