As a child, I remember playing with my siblings and friendsâ€”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 â€œthings,â€ filling up my calendar with activitiesâ€¦parties, sporting events, lectures. Still, there was something â€œmissing.â€
â€œWhat would it take for me to have real joy in my life?â€
That was the question I asked myself over and over again â€¦ 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:
â€œWho do I have to BE to have real joy in my life?â€
It took something for me to admit â€“ even to myself â€“ that I was someone who didnâ€™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 â€¦ simply enough! Once I could see this, I could acknowledge that the disempowering, nagging voice in my head was certainly not my â€œfriend.â€ (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 wasnâ€™t going to believe it! Instead, I was going to take on a new way of being â€¦ 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 â€¦ the kind where I live with ease, peace and Freedom! And that is real joy!!