As I shared in my previous post, I have lived my whole life based on an untrue assumption that I was living on borrowed time, and at any time it can end.
I saw that life needs to be set up in a way that matches that base assumption: never own anything, travel lightly, don't get attached, don't... don't... don't...
Don't love deeply...
All to avoid personal loss. Because all can be taken away in a heartbeat.
It's not that "they" rob you, you don't allow you to have anything.
This sums up my life pretty accurately.
So, the conversation, last night, was about what was the biggest missing that I can put back in now.
Activating a feeling and a behavior consistently delivering that feeling is much like activating a capacity after it is turned on... it takes attention, awareness, and action.
Of course, you don't quite know what action, but you'll see it.
It started when I jumped under the frigid covers on my bed, cold, miserably, panting.
Then I had the thought that I could actually enjoy it, feel it, like an adventure. I could allow joi de vivre to call the day, not the shock of the cold covers.
That I have a choice.
As it turns out, "joy of life" or even simply joy or happiness is a choice. It doesn't come from the circumstance, it comes from within... the willingness to pay attention to what is enjoyable, while having room, having permission for the not enjoyable to be there as well.
You can't have joy if your attention is on trying to will away what you don't like.
You can't have joy if you simply tolerate what you don't like.
You can't have joy if you are just surviving what you are going through.
You can't have joy unless you allow what is, and then find something enjoyable in the situation.
I have been really good at finding funny in situations. And now I can add: finding the enjoyable.
28 years ago I was really depressed when the phone rang. A person I didn't know called. The conversation went in unexpected ways: she suggested that I would benefit from attending ACOA, adult children of alcoholics. No one drinks in my family... but when she read to me the symptoms, they fit.
The first and most important symptom is "I don't know what fun is"
I didn't even know what people meant by that. I am, just now, starting to see, that what people call fun is the enjoyment of what is doing, what is experiencing, in the moment.
But what people call fun all comes from the belief that fun is a result of something outside of you, something you do, something you take or eat or drink.
So it is not joy... Joy is a result of choice. Choosing where to put the attention, while allowing everything else to remain the same. Choosing is finding. Finding something to enjoy.
Addictive means: you need to have more and more of it to have the same effect on you...
Joy doesn't say "what". It goes and look for something to enjoy...
When you want to. Your joy comes from within... not from without. Joy is in you, up to you...
And for the first time in my life... I am going to choose joy.
At the risk of falling in love with life...
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