{52 Weeks of Inspiration} 10 Lessons to Maintain Inner Joy

What does inner joy mean to you? Do you feel as though you have inner joy? Do you give and receive love easily? Do you have a harsh inner critic or have you learned to accept things as they are? Are you forgiving and compassionate? There really is a lot to inner joy and we all have the potential to have it! Thanks to Susan from Smart Relationships.org for sharing her 10 lessons that she has learned to help maintain her inner joy! She is celebrating the big 5-0 tomorrow and you can connect with her below to share in her special day! 

Here are ten lessons I’ve learned that help me maintain my inner joy:
  1. Life is about learning to give and receive love - truly, fully, and wholeheartedly. There are three key arenas of love I have worked to develop that help me feel so rich: building a love relationship with myself, with others, and with God. I don’t think it’s possible to feel as rich in love as I do without engaging all three arenas.
  2. I’ve learned to silence the inner critic, and listen to the inner encourager. I have come to believe that almost every problem I’ve ever had in my relationships is really a struggle with the inner critic. I’ve learned to joyfully and courageously take my place in the universe of God’s love.
  3. I’ve learned to be forgiving and compassionate toward others. I avoid forming negative judgments whenever possible because I know that only strengthens my own inner critic. I keep in mind that most bad behavior, no matter how aggressive it looks on the outside, comes from other people’s own life and death struggle with the inner critic. The compassion I offer them also lights up my own soul.
  4. I’ve learned that my spoken and written words carry real, creative power. We are constantly creating our inner and outer reality with words, so I watch what I say. And because words come from inner thoughts, I watch what I think. I choose my attitudes and beliefs on purpose to create good things.
  5. I’ve learned to freely give my gifts to the world. Only in giving my true self away to others can I experience living as my true self. I’ve dropped the mask of perfection. I embrace the humility of being a vulnerable, limited, and flawed human being. I might as well be my authentic self, because being rejected hurts regardless of whether it’s my false or real self on display. But my vulnerable, childlike self bounces back. A mask can only shatter.
  6. I’ve found things larger than my own happiness to be part of. Living for my own comfort, pleasure, or achievement seems tempting in the way of all bait. But those who never develop the art of giving back and working towards a greater good become self-absorbed and miserable petty tyrants of an ever-shrinking kingdom. Letting go of my own good and focusing on the larger good shrinks my inner tyrant.
  7. My happiness begins at home. I have learned how to be generous, compassionate, patient, forgiving, joyful, etc., primarily because I have a family. If I were to selfishly get stuck on all the ways my partner(s), parent(s), sibling(s), and child(ren) disappoint me, home life would be miserable, and that misery would ripple out to every other area of my life. I know my family is not there to make me happy. Instead I allow them to help me grow up and stop being so self-centered. I delight in the magic and wonder of them BEING THERE AT ALL. When I’m tempted to withhold forgiveness, I try to imagine what it would be like if I suddenly lost them. The exercise usually restores my gratitude and makes me realize how much I value them.
  8. I don’t fight my feelings. Nobody likes to feel the big three negative emotions - fear, anger, and sadness - because they produce STRESS. But fighting them, stuffing them, denying them, judging them, and indulging them, just serves to prolong the stress. I am free because I let them come and go like clouds passing by, welcoming them in, and then sending them on their way. I can do that because of the next key learning.
  9. I can separate myself from my thoughts and feelings. They are not ME. They are an experience I have as a response to events. I am attuned to the energy of each feeling or thought as it arises. I don’t attach myself to negative thoughts and feelings that rob me of inner strength and peace, and only feed the inner critic. Most of those joy-stealing thoughts are associated with imagining the future or reliving the past, so allowing them to pass through lets me live in the Eternal Now, where joy and love are fully experienced.
  10. I have allowed happiness and love to become my natural state of being. When I strip away all the mental and emotional clutter, there is an essential ME that is wild and free and passionately alive. I haven’t had to CREATE it, I have only needed to give myself permission to BE it. And so I’ve recaptured the childlike joy and wonder of life. It’s a wild adventure! I embrace it fully and share it freely with others.
What do you think about those? Can you relate?

Susan is celebrating #50 and is having a birthday celebration. Stop over at Smart Relationships.org or Smart Relationships Facebook page to wish her a happy birthday! Her website and Facebook page is full of relationship advice so browse around while you are there! 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing. Very inspiring and so true! We all need to maintain Joy and we forget and get wrapped up everyday stuff that is not important. A great reminder! Thank you again! Found you on Diana Rambles. Nice to meet you.
    Kollette Chambers


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