Two weeks ago, I was having lunch with a good friend when the topic of joy came up. She said she’d been on the hunt, exploring various teachings hope to find the magical answer for how to find joy.
I can understand the root of her desire. Joy is a much-coveted thing.
But there is a cost to joy. It’s the price we pay. You probably never realized this. Many haven’t. and without embracing (and accepting) the cost, you’ll be chasing joy without ever enjoying it.
If you look up the word, you’ll probably find something about feelings of pleasure, jubilation, delight. But for the purpose of this article, let’s get real specific. When we refer to joy, we’re talking about a peaceful state of being that pervades your life. What does peace have to do with it? Everything. If you’ve been searching for happiness and wondering how to find joy, I’d like to contend that you actually are searching for peace. Feeling joyful in life
When we refer to joy, we’re talking about a peaceful state of being that pervades your life. What does peace have to do with it? Everything. If you’ve been searching for happiness and wondering how to find joy, I’d like to contend that you actually are searching for peace. Feeling joyful in life includes a medley of feelings, but peace is the prevailing one.
Peace is the point at which you no longer feel at odds with certain people, circumstances, and issues in your life. It’s not that you don’t want things to change, but you don’t have your knickers in a twist because they aren’t the way you want them to be right now. Peace is integral to joy.
So let’s move on to how to find joy:
First, you need stop looking for it. The very act of searching for it means you are internalizing and amplifying a message (to yourself) that your life is lacking something, when in fact it isn’t.
Second, you have to pay the price.
And what is the price for joy?
Thought you’d never ask. Let’s get to the price of joy
Being highly self-concerned
This may sound like selfishness. And in some ways it’s related. To embrace joy in your life, you will need to hold yourself as your highest concern. You need to understand that this is not about shutting other people out of your life. On the contrary. It’s about building yourself up, so that you can be the best version of you.
Here are a few simple suggestions for you:
Cultivate thought patterns of self-love
Pay careful attention to your physical, emotional, mental well-being
Maintain self-care as the highest priority in your life
Move forward with pursuing your deepest desires
Have trust in yourself and in your own inner guidance
Explore your passions and deep beliefs
This is a struggle for most and so will actually feel like a sacrifice. If you’ve spent a life engaging in people-pleasing, it’s time to put those actions on the chopping block. We’re saying goodbye to that comfort zone, and this will feel tough in the beginning. But slowly, as you change your habits and thought processes, it won’t feel so difficult. Respect the time that it takes. Honor the time. It’s a part of your journey.
Some people (aka the haters) won’t like the new you
It actually won’t be a new you, but this is what you’ll hear. Some people will express that ‘you’re different and you’ve changed.’ And they won’t necessarily be happy about it.
People who are still unsure of how to find joy, will not be too happy when you find joy. They may start to criticize you harshly or berate the changes that you are making in your life. Not all people, of course, but many. It’s a sad phenomenon, but one you should be prepared for when you start accepting joy in your life. Don’t judge them or the reasons for their behavior. That’s all wasted energy. Just take notice and keep going.
Some of your relationships may end
Continuing on with this theme, there’ll be people and experiences you no longer enjoy. You may call it different energy levels or vibrations, but the point is, you just won’t be engaged in some areas of your life the way you were before. It’s inevitable.
When you step into your joy, you gain an abundance of peace, love, and contentment in your life. But you also lose some habits and people that no longer feel right. They just don’t fit in anymore. This doesn’t mean you’ll abandon your negative Nellie best friend. But it will mean a shift in your relationship with her.
The shift isn’t something you don’t have to force. It will happen as joy enters your life and you accept it as your natural state of being. You will slowly start to see relationships changing. Some people may no longer be central figures in your life. Don’t resist the changes, but allow them to happen naturally.
There’s no 24-7 bliss
Joy does not mean you’re floating on a bed of roses every minute of every day. Rather it’s an overall state of being. There will be moments of pain and fear and displeasure, even. But overall, you’ll be at peace and will find ways to re-center and come back to your feelings of pleasure with life when needed.
This is a concept that somehow people skip. In the search for how to find joy, people expect to uncover a formula that leads to eternal, never-changing happiness. There is no formula for that. In fact, searching for it will leave a person feeling the exact opposite.
There are things you’ll have to do. These won’t be physical things, but more emotional practices and thought re-patterning to bring you back to your state of joy when you feel you are going off track. And you will go off track. This is the only guarantee of joy: that it can fade if not nurtured.
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how to find joy, I give you permission, right now, to stop wondering. It’s not a mystery. When you are willing to accept the costs of joy, you’re willing to accept the fruit. Stop seeking for something outside of you that doesn’t exist. Tune into the joy that already exists deep within, accept that there’ll be a price to pay for this peaceful state of being, and then just be. Once you get this, the price won’t feel like a burden. Instead, you’ll gladly give up what’s no longer serving you so you can embrace the calm, centered, and peaceful state of joy.