You Are, To Have Joy
Life is exciting. There are many places to be explored. There are tons of people to meet; so many things to learn and not to mention a lot of different foods to try. The adventure we call can be exhilarating. However, there are days and moments that life can feel boring and somewhat pointless. If you think about it too long, life can begin to seem like an endless cycle of work to live and live to work. This perspective can become really depressing, really fast. Obvious it is best not to think about it too much or if at all.
Many of us wonder “what is the purpose of life” or “why am I here”. There are some answers to be found across various religions and philosophies, but let me share with one that you is easy to grasp.
I am not talking about pleasure, where you get drunk with your friends and tell jokes all night. I am talking about the overwhelming feeling that you get when you feel alive. Joy, unlike pleasure, isn’t fleeting. It is with us whether we are sad, angry, worried or even on days we are just neutral. Joy is an extension of peace. We can feel at peace in our lives, even when everything is going wrong. This isn’t to say that you will happy and jumping for joy during your spouse’s funeral, but you can feel the joy that you spent together at all times. Joy I think is more a compound of the life we have lived and the life we are going to live. It is living in the moment. Should you be happy all the time? No, but you can make a choice to live life is a positive way.
There is a story of man who, while at burning man, realized that he needed only three things in life to be happy.
1. To be surrounded by love. Whether that was him feeling from a spouse or child or even if it was self-love. He could be happy.
2. To always be learning. When we learn, there is a feeling of growth in our lives. I firmly believe that one of the reasons we are here is to learn and grow as much as possible. And perhaps by so doing we can make the world a better place for those who come after us.
3. To have real human experiences. This is my favorite, because the example he gives is that even if he were to just sit down on the side of the street and eat a $1 ice cream cone, that the experience of eating such a simple treat could make him feel so alive. We don’t need to jump out of planes to feel excitement. We can feel it every day as we take the simple things we do each day and take the time to experience them.
I mention these points because it emphasizes that, joy is something that can be created when we look beyond the big things, but that it can also be found in the small things. Joy isn’t a quick thing to be achieved, but I it can be experienced over a lifetime.