Saturday, June 6, 2009

Don't Postpone Joy

A few years ago my friend Bonnie gave me the perfect gift....a T-shirt that said "Don't Postpone Joy". Whenever I wear it, I think about how elusive JOY can seem to be sometimes. This morning on my walk I experienced my latest thought-filled response to this T-Shirt's deep wisdom.

What came to mind for me today was that the greatest obstacle of JOY is an inability to forgive. If we are holding a grudge, resentment or anger towards someone, then the impact of those states of mind would postpone JOY.

The truth is we cannot feel joy and anger simultaneously. The reason for that is because anger is not in alignment with who we "really are". We may feel justified in our anger, but it is still not a match to our spiritual make-up and therefore postpones joy until we are once again in alignment with the truth of who we are.

What matches our spiritual make-up is love, forgiveness, kindness, understanding, patience, gentleness and compassion. When these are the components that we are practicing, then JOY will be profoundly felt.

So when you find yourself complaining about someone or something, stop for a moment and ask yourself if holding on to your upset is worth postponing JOY. If the answer is "no" then I suggest taking a closer look at that which you are unhappy about and see if you can find peace with it. Can you look beyond the actions of another, or a situation, and find some level of understanding and compassion? Can you simply accept "what is" and stop resisting? Can you forgive?

Postponing JOY just doesn't make sense to me. I cannot imagine any situation that would be worth giving up my joy in exchange. What I know about forgiveness is that it creates freedom and with freedom always comes JOY.

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