“I am happier when I love than when I am loved. I adore my husband, my son, my grandchildren, my mother, my dog, and frankly, I don’t know if they even like me. But who cares? Loving them is my joy.”
Author Isabel Allende helps us understand the nature of joy. It is born from love. All traditions identify love with the Divine. As we focus on Love, joy must flow. Must? I can hear the mental objections. After all, so many of us experience deep sorrow in matters of the heart. But think about that sorrow. Doesn’t it come from our attachment to whether someone is in our life, how they treat us, or how they are faring? That sorrow doesn’t actually come from loving. Love is free. It is independent of how a person receives the love. If you want more joy in your life, put your attention on love. Ask yourself, what do I love? Focus on appreciating the love that is there for you, listening to the voice of love and acting on its prompts, and–above all–loving. Love yourself, just as you are. Love others just as they are. If you will do this, joy will be yours. There are no other options!
Rev. Jane Meyers Hiatt’s talk on 8/3/2014: Joy | The Season of Spiritual Literacy