Filling Your Joy Tank

Too many people live with a sense of chronic joylessness. Chronic joylessness occurs when our minds are filled with irritation, frustration, worry, fear, lack of purpose and/or a sense that life isn’t fair.

To combat joylessness, we sometimes try to partake in events that we think will create feelings of joy. However, it’s hard to chase joy in our lives – often the harder we try, the more elusive joy seems to become.

 photo: Roger Selverstene

But does joy really need to be elusive?  Part of the reason it feels so elusive is because we often fail to recognize an important rule about joy, which is:  joy cannot be found, and joy cannot be created. Joy always comes as a by-product of something else. What is the something else that can create the by-product called joy?

Joy is the by-product of acting like God.  We act like God when we are selfless without resentment, when we give without counting the cost, and when we give from our sustenance rather than from our excess. As Ron Rolheiser says, “When we do big-hearted things, we get to feel big-hearted; when we act petty, we get to feel petty.”

Who doesn’t want to feel more joy in their lives?  The good news is, we don’t need circumstances to unfold in a particular way.  All we need to do is begin to act like God.  Today.  Right now. There are probably a dozen things we could each do, right now, right in this moment, to act like God.  That means a feeling of chronic joylessness can be turned into chronic joy.