How to Find Joy in Your Soul
We all know happiness can be fleeting. The vagrant is lying luxuriously in our bed one moment and running for the hills the next. We wish it would settle down and stay awhile, even though we know staying isn’t in its nature. Is it out of our hands entirely? What can we do to find joy in our Souls?
The good news is, we don’t actually find joy, we must create it from the raw bits of our lives as we know them right now. Henri Nouwen, a priest and philosopher, said, “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” So, in essence, we don’t find joy;
Joy is the sum of our everyday decisions.
Joy is a way of life in which we take a good bit of responsibility for our own happiness. When we recognize how the choices that lift us and others make us feel better, we begin to understand the source of joy.
When we feel that our Soul suffers from a lack of joy, it’s usually a result of not taking our long-term happiness seriously – instead, we seek short-lived pleasures and inadequate substitutes for joy.
But real joy is a decision to do and say things that ultimately make us feel happier and healthier over time.
Joy is choosing to heal old wounds and trauma so our hearts can open up to love again.
Joy is choosing to practice compassion with our selves and others, giving us all the benefit of the doubt.
Joy is choosing to notice that pretty much everyone is doing the best they can.
Joy is choosing to value your self and your life above all others.
Joy is choosing to spend time with people who make us smile and laugh, people who make us feel safe and supported.
Joy is choosing to make your needs for love, acceptance, and belonging important enough to be met in this lifetime.
Joy is choosing to honor your creative urges whenever and wherever you can.
Joy is choosing to be present, to live in the moment as often as possible, so we don’t miss the important stuff, the stuff that when added up, make up a life worth living.
Joy is choosing to see the positive side of things as often as we can, and knowing when we can’t – when we need to feel the pain and suffering that marks the human condition and gives rise to compassion, empathy, and connection.
Joy is choosing to engage in activities that make us feel good in our bodies and light in our hearts. To dance, to sing, to make art, to run, skip, jump, shout and soar are to express the soul’s existence.
Joy is choosing to take care of our bodies with patience and kindness, so they are available and able to live life to the fullest expression of our unique human potential.
Joy is choosing to listen to your Spirit – to learn who and what you are on a deeper level.
Joy is choosing to put your soul’s desire first and to make your spiritual practice as big a priority as that of making money or chasing success.
Joy comes down to a lifetime of choices that lead to a greater sense of happiness overall. When we focus on making healthy, life-affirming choices, happiness comes and stays more often. You might even see her tuck a few things in a dresser drawer for tomorrow.
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