Archive for the ‘Joy’ Category

Theology of Happiness

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

I’m convinced that the main obstacle to happiness is lack of faith. People are unhappy because they don’t believe in happiness. They believe in same-old-same-old. To undertake my experiment in joy, I had to change beliefs. From a stick-in-the-mud theology of sadness I had to switch to a theology of happiness.

For years I believed it was a good thing to be sad. Sadness was compassionate, pragmatic, often the most realistic response to life’s complexities. What a surprise to discover that a lingering, low-grade melancholy was actually my last line of defense against the love of God. Moodiness was how I got back at God for everything that had ever gone wrong in my life. Atheists get back at God by not believing in Him, but that option was closed to me. I couldn’t help believing in God; the evidence was too compelling. I knew the world was filled with wonders, that life was precious beyond words, that I was surrounded by signs and messages of the power and love of my Creator. In view of all this, how could I justify clinging to my self-centered moodiness?

The answer was simple: Believe in sadness. Believe that a certain degree of melancholy is inevitable in this world. Believe that joy is brief and unsustainable, the rare exception rather than the rule. A capricious blessing, not a commandment.

Are you unhappy today? Ask yourself what you believe. What is your excuse for believing you cannot live this day in joy? No one can be happy without believing that happiness is good, right, appropriate, and allowed. If we believe joy is in short supply and must be carefully rationed, we will not rejoice. The lavish abundance of God’s kingdom isn’t obvious to the naked eye; it can be enjoyed only by those who believe, with a faith intense enough to lead to action.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 53-54.

Our Greatest Joy

Sunday, January 7th, 2018

Relationship is the true proving ground for spirituality. Ultimately, joy is not something to learn, it is something to live. And our greatest joy is lived in deep, loving, and generous relationships with others.

— Douglas Abrams, The Book of Joy, p. 348

Let Go of Judgment

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

We know that when we are having a bad time, we are in judgment. Any time we are not enjoying ourselves and experiencing the beauty within and around us, we are also in judgment. When we have lost our sense of wonder, we are judging something or someone. By our judgment, we are robbing ourselves of a really good, creative time, but we always have a choice. We can choose to have enjoyment. our willingness to let go of judgment allows us to experience the beauty, wonder, and joy in life.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 281

Choosing Joy

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

I haven’t the slightest doubt that God is bending over backward all day long to give me joy — but I must take it. Jesus stands at the crossroads pointing the way to joy, inviting and encouraging, but I must choose. Lasting happiness comes only through choice, through the making of countless small decisions, one day at a time. Once I see this, it’s not hard to choose. The hard part is admitting I have a choice.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 52

Give Joy

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

“Hey, remember you are not alone, and you do not need to finish the work. It takes time, but we are learning, we are growing, we are becoming the people we want to be. It helps no one if you sacrifice your joy because others are suffering. We people who care must be attractive, must be filled with joy, so that others recognize that caring, that helping and being generous are not a burden, they are a joy. Give the world your love, your service, your healing, but you can also give it your joy. This, too, is a great gift.”

— Archbishop Desmond Tutu, quoted by Douglas Abrams in The Book of Joy, p. 273-4

Live Today.

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

I’ve said elsewhere that I hate the question, “What is my destiny?” It seems to imply that life is about one or a few big tasks or goals. My understanding from God and the angels is that each and every one of our destinies is to live life to the fullest. This means living every minute of every day to the fullest and trying to be aware and conscious of every moment and, where possible, to enjoy them all. Your life is today. It’s not yesterday or tomorrow. It’s now. This moment.

— Lorna Byrne, A Message of Hope from the Angels, p. 90

Avoiding Joy

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

Pain cannot be avoided, but joy can.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 52

For or Against

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Being for something creates positive feelings of interest, passion, or joy, which improve health and relationships. Being against something foments negative feelings of anger, contempt, envy, or disgust, which have deleterious effects on health and relationships.

— Steven Stosny, Soar Above, p. 161

The Courage to Live with an Open Heart

Friday, September 8th, 2017

The Archbishop and the Dalai Lama had revealed throughout the week one of the core paradoxes of happiness: We are most joyful when we focus on others, not on ourselves. In short, bringing joy to others is the fastest way to experience joy oneself. As the Dalai Lama had said, even ten minutes of meditation on the well-being of others can help one to feel joyful for the whole day — even before coffee. When we close our heart, we cannot be joyful. When we have the courage to live with an open heart, we are able to feel our pain and the pain of others, but we are also able to experience more joy. The bigger and warmer our heart, the stronger our sense of aliveness and resilience.

— Douglas Abrams, The Book of Joy, p. 261

Joy Waiting to be Gathered

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

Every day joy waits to be gathered. Will you take the trouble to find it, cherish it, be grateful?

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 50