Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Life Assessment Based on JOY

I recently read that two Egyptian life assessment questions asked at the end of life are " Did you find joy?.....Did you bring joy?"

Can you imagine if we all held ourselves accountable to these questions and lived our lives so they would be true? What would it take for us to be able to answer yes to both?

I imagine, first of all, it would take awareness to find joy. We would have to be aware of how we felt, which would then lead us to the cause of our feelings. Once we were aware of our feelings and that which created those feelings, we would note if there was any joy present in that equation. Hopefully, if we got that far we would then have the presence of mind to know how to connect with joy more strongly.

Now with the bringing joy assessment, we would need to notice what our impact is on other people. We'd be paying attention to how people respond to us and if our impact was positive or negative. We would see that kindness, love, acceptance, patience and understanding create joy.

What I find to be true is when one piece of this joyful equation is present, the other is as well. Think about it.....when you are absolutely filled to the brim of your joy tank, how do people respond to you? Have you ever noticed that your joy spills over and washes over others? If they happened to be open to receive your joy, they too will be filled.

If your life is joyless and your focus is one of condemnation, anger, resentment, judgment and fear, then bringing joy will not likely be a result.

Of course, we may occasionally have a day void of joy. We may forget that joy lives within and we may spend our time looking outside of ourselves to find it. If this vital step in our process is remembered repeatedly, I assure you that your assessment at the end of life would be a resounding YES to both questions.

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