When times are tough, we can shine the light of joy in every area of our lives.
Sometimes amid the big problems in our lives or all the negative news in the world, joy may seem far off or even not useful. In fact, joy links to peace as well as trust in the infinite potential of the essence of who we are. It’s exactly what we need when times seem dark.
True joy may be grand, or it can be found in our everyday lives. I would describe five kinds of joy:
- Joy of eating: We have to eat to live, and we feel joy when we eat something delicious. This kind of joy is primal and linked to our desire to survive.
- Joy of possessing: When we are babies, our greatest joy is eating, but, as we get a little older, we awaken to the concept of possession. That’s why we fight over toys and clothes asserting, “Mine!” Besides wanting to possess material things, we want to possess the important people in our lives, especially in romantic relationships. The joy of possessing is just as great as the joy of eating.
- Joy of achievement: We feel this joy when we satisfy our desire to achieve a goal or reach a milestone.
- Joy of helping others (acting Hongik): Beyond the joy we feel when we are fed by food and success, we can feel the joy of opening our hearts and acting for the benefit of many.
- Joy of being one with the universe: This is the joy of enlightenment, when we know that heaven, earth, and humanity are one.
All of these joys are important. If we ignore the first three personal joys and only talk about enlightenment, then we are acting unrealistic and absurd.
Going from Joy 1 to 5
These five kinds of joy are a growth process. First, we build a solid foundation with a healthy body full of bright, clear energy. Then we open our hearts to others, and finally we can develop our spiritual awareness.
Without a strong foundation, we may find it difficult to keep our hearts and minds open and connected when times get tough. We may know and say the right things, but we won’t have the power to back them up with our actions.
We need joy right now and so does the world. A steady, daily practice that makes our body, energy, and spirit strong and bright will make us into people who illuminate the world. In the process, we can find ourselves becoming masters of our bodies, our emotions, and our minds.
- How to Choose Joy
- The Greatest Joy: Life Itself
- Finding Joy in Small Things, One Day at a Time
- For Greater Joy, Peace, and Love
- Joy from the Soul