Thursday, January 25, 2007

Learning to Love Yourself Again

“Joy brings a happy, almost elated feeling that inspires gratitude. When we are burdened with sadness and fatigue, even thinking about joy seems artificial and absurd. Yet even under the most challenging circumstances, it is possible to take some small step that reconnects us to the lilt of joy. A loving gesture, a token of appreciation, or a humorous exchange can offer welcome release and provide a sunnier outlook. Scientific research suggests that active appreciation and gratitude stimulates the highest brain functions. Cheerfulness sharpens our intelligence, activating the sword of knowledge that can cut though emotionality, putting ego out of commission and releasing vital energy. Happy people are not ruled by their emotions.”
-- Arnaud Maitland, Living Without Regret

Where in your life is that lilt of joy? What would it take to reconnect with that precious moment when you were really alive, hopeful for the future, purposefully positive about who you were and what you wanted to become? Remember how you loved yourself then, in that shining instant when everything was possible?

You can be that person again. No matter the disappointments, no matter what heartaches, no matter the dim, dusty years that have passed since then, you are here, now. It is another day, another hour, another moment. As the quantum physicists say, we indeed do create our own reality. It simply takes our conscious intention to realize and manifest what we really want, who we really are, and then create the courageous attention, moment by moment, to make it happen.

You are loveable. You are loving. You can attract other loving people to you, once you realize how much you have to offer to yourself and to others. The old saying, “It takes a friend to be a friend” is the key to learning how to love ourselves, especially as we age, even as our old friends may have been leaving this earth before us. But today we are still here, and as long as there is another day to wake up to, we have more opportunities to find another lilt of joy in remembering all those past joyful moments in our lives and find ways to create new joys.

With those old joyful memories, and our new experiences, we have the precious opportunity to create in this moment and this day the wonderful gift of thanking ourselves for being here and finding others to share the same inexplicable joy. Begin now. What one thing can you do today that will give you joy? What can you do today to give another person comfort or joy?

I am delighted to be here this day to share my joy with you.

Now, pass it on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dearest Richard,

Reading your voice was exactly what I needed today. What a gift to all of us you are!

The simple act of feeling grateful for NOW can turn sad, tired, and angry, into JOY. It's an amazing little (and HUGE) twist in framing our own realities.

Your thoughts have sparked at least a dozen paths of joyful thinking for me today. Here are a few:

--my cousin's words, "Be fascinated not frustrated." Aging is fascinating. Certainly, it can be frustrating, but changing our life filters to fascinating shifts frustrating into a what-does-this-mean, what-can-I-learn, oh!-this-is-new mode.
--every living entity, even a fetus or a newborn, ages. That, in itself, is fascinating and can help us reframe the idea of aging from a negative to a potential positive. Aging means we're growing, shifting, dyanmic, alive.
--the lilt of joy you mention can indeed be found in those beautiful gifts of moments -- a ray of light, a snowflake, a glimpse into the soul of a true friend (like you).

Thank you.