Have you ever met a really joyful person? They're the kind of person we have learned to despise. You know the kind of person who always seem to be at peace. The kind of person who always has something positive to say even in the most terrible circumstances. The kind of person who radiates compassion and love, and who knows how to laugh well in the face of uncertainty and chaos.
Well as much as it pains me to admit it, I am naturally not this kind of person. Being joyful is incredibly difficult for me. There's so much to complain about it, feel unhappy with and intensely criticize. However, if I am continuing to be honest not being a joyful person has rendered a lot of pain.
So after many years of asking the critical, self-defeating question, "What's wrong with me?" and "Why can't I be more like _____" I began delving deeper into my past through my own personal therapy. In therapy I discovered that I wasn't too broken or too wounded to be joyful but I simply was living inauthentically.
You see, you can be a joyful person and an imperfect, wounded person but the problem is that most of us do not know how to be an authentic person, which is where our true joy lies.
That's the ONLY difference between the joyful people we envy and our very selves. Joyful people know how to live authentically.
HOWEVER, I HAVE A DISCLAIMER, just because you live with joy does not mean you live without pain.
Authentic living is joyful living, and it's also painful living.
It's incredibly hard to look at your pain and wounds and have the courage to heal. It also takes a lot of strength to be able to accept your limitations and imperfections and have the bravery to keep going.
But when you're able to accept the pain and use the pain for a greater purpose, it becomes the only pathway for true joy.
Therefore, we have to choose joy and keep choosing it, even when it's hard.
The moment we stop this difficult work is the moment joy becomes something much more fleeting, meaningless and inauthentic, and a result, so does our very lives.
So embrace yourself entirely along with all of life's messiness and complications. Never trade your life for another. This is your unique journey and it's a journey when lived authentically, can be experienced joyfully.
GRAB A PEN + JOURNAL
1. What parts of you need to be integrated so you can live more whole?
2. What do you need to let go of so you can be more of who you really are?
3. How do you know when you're living your most authentic self? Does it connect you to living a joyful life?