Joy in the Time of….
Joy. What makes us experience joy? When I live in harmony with my nature and allow myself to be me, I experience the most joy. When I don a mask to protect or defend myself out in the world, I am not happy. When I don that mask I feel stress that gradually accumulates out of the pit of my stomach and affects my behavior a little more each day, until I find myself lashing out at those who are closest to me (of course they’re the ones who will forgive me… right?)
When I take the masks off and allow myself to be me, no matter how vulnerable I feel, no matter how I have to force myself to be brave, no matter that initially it may feel incredibly uncomfortable, there is an honesty that comes into play, that feels so good, when I no longer try to pretend to be something that I’m not. In Taoism it is said that humans are naturally kind. When I allow that kindness in my life, life responds in equal or greater measure with kindness.
It’s a little like when you go into the grocery store and smile at everyone no matter how grumpy they appear to be. Most people respond with a smile. Not only do they smile, but often their inner light will come shining through like a beacon, reinforcing the smile in you. When we take off our mask and allow our natural self to enjoy the moment and live in that moment, life can be so much easier and so much more joyful.
Sometime, more often than I like to admit, I forget and find myself in an unhappy state, rushing around, trying to force the universe to conform to my will, instead of allowing it to be itself and me to be me. When I catch myself in that mode, I try to reset – to bring out that inner smile, to find the good in the moment, to let go of the past and the future, and just to revel in the beauty around me and within each perfect moment, to be in Joy.