I woke up with a wispy joy this morning. I loved how my bed felt, how my body felt, how the light fell in the room. It was an inside job. None of those outer stuff was any different from any other morning. I was different. I had that rare quality of enjoyment, of joy, of the joy of being alive.
It is so rare because it, just like the tiny blue flowers at the root of your grass, are hidden by the tall grass. They are tiny, they are insignificant, and our eyes look for the big, the flashy, the showy, and can’t even see the beauty of the tiny blue flowers.
It is rare, because most of us, very early in life, have overpowered with a demand of how life should be.
The man downstairs where I live, has two sons from a marriage, that come to stay with him 4-5 times a year. Two boys, one around 5, the other around 7.
The five year old still has joy. Joy of life. Joy for no reason. Joy because it’s there. His laugh is like the laughter of a mountain brook, bubbling. His brother laughs, but he always has a reason to laugh, mostly at his little brother’s expense. There is no joy in his laugh, there is glee. Glee has a reason, an evil reason. Glee cost another something. It’s pure desire to receive for the self alone.
The joy of being alive, although visible to all, is not a what but a how. It is a way to relate to things, an innocence, an integrity, an unadulterated, uncorrupted way of being, void of should’s, void of preconceived notions. It is a relationship to life that is straight, unmitigated, and intimate.
It is the spring in your step, it’s the gusto with which you approach work, it is the appetite and appreciation with which you eat, take a shower, feel the wind in your hair, the rain on your skin, the sun in your back.
Once you have a should, it all goes underground, and comes out for a week or two when you are in love, on the first sunny day after a long winter…
So, how do you restore that capacity to be joyful for its own sake?
Let’s look what has replaced joy: it’s standards and ideals.
Standards are those rigid “this is how you are supposed to” statements, that you are so self-righteous about. Don’t blame yourself, it’s not your fault. You learned to be that way, to speak that way, to expect the world, people, yourself to be different than it naturally is.
One really clear example is the child that is laughed at. The child expresses love. The adults laugh. She is so cute, so pure, so innocent, they laugh. They envy the child, and they laugh at her. She can only feel the sinisterness of their laugh, the evilness. Her love makes them feel tainted, it makes them feel their wretchedness. They secretly hope that she won’t do that again. That she grows old and dead in that moment, so they don’t have to feel their own pain that replaced love they once felt.
She wows that she will never feel again. Not love, not joy, nothing.
She holds it out as her standard for herself, but of course, she can’t succeed. She feels, because feeling is part of being alive.
Eventually the only feeling she feels is anguish and disappointment, in herself. She has the standard she can’t feel. She feels guilty. She is out of integrity with herself. She broke her promis to herself.
She is wretched. No joy, no love. In turn, to make herself feel better, she judges everyone around her. She became her relatives, exactly.
And the cycle continues.
Now, what happens if that inner mechanism of killing joy is revealed? That the mechanism sprang into place ready to kill the moment she said: I shouldn’t.
If she can see the ludicrousness of that “commandment” then she will be ready to release it.
It will be ready either later today or tomorrow.
I’ll post it on the Avatar State Audios page, and also will send out an email.