As a child, I remember playing with my siblings and friends—we had fun in the backyard, whether we were playing games we made up or skipping rope. We played until we were tired. Having fun was easy. When I got older, I dated, went to movies and concerts and dances. And, yes, I enjoyed myself and had fun. But the feeling never seemed to last; there was that nagging discontent that permeated my life. So, I started doing more “things,” filling up my calendar with activities…parties, sporting events, lectures. Still, there was something “missing.”

“What would it take for me to have real joy in my life?”

That was the question I asked myself over and over again … the question that began my personal Freedom Inquiry. All of that external activity was not working. I realized that trying to have joy by DOING was obviously not the answer. So I looked deeper and asked myself what turned out to be the pivotal question:

“Who do I have to BE to have real joy in my life?”

It took something for me to admit – even to myself – that I was someone who didn’t believe I deserved the joy I was looking for. So how could I ever possibly have it? I was so hard on myself, never believing I was good enough, young enough … simply enough! Once I could see this, I could acknowledge that the disempowering, nagging voice in my head was certainly not my “friend.” (Awareness) It was the product of beliefs from the past; beliefs that were not true! I could see that I actually had made it all up! (Imagined Truth) So I decided to take a different tact the next time I heard that voice. I wasn’t going to believe it! Instead, I was going to take on a new way of being … I was going to be kind to myself, self-loving and present! (Choice)

And what a difference that has made! Now, whether I am busy or just being by myself, when I choose to be self-loving, I can experience the kind of joy that had been so elusive to me … the kind where I live with ease, peace and Freedom! And that is real joy!!