Excerpted from The Quest
Where The Joy Is
If you had been looking for happiness in people and events, you discovered that it is not there. If you look to outer circumstances for your satisfaction cues, you will stay on an emotional seesaw.
There is the old story of the father who was so happy because he had a son. The son fell off his horse and broke his back, and that made the father sad. Then because of his injury, the son was not called to war, and that made the father happy. Because he didn't go to war, the son married a terrible woman, which made the father sad. Then the son had a child, which made the father happy. And so on, and so on, one event gladdening, one event saddening. This is how most people live their lives, always reacting to whatever pops up and searching for joy in all the wrong places: outer events.
True joy is actually part of your nature. It's built into your very being. Yes, even in spite of outer circumstances which may appear to range anywhere from fair to awful, the experience of joy is always present deep within you. It is not something you take in from without, but something you let out from within you. Events merely give us an excuse to feel it.
No matter what situation you find yourself in, once you make contact with the Christ center at the core of your being, you feel an immediate rush of joy, because you know that you can trust God and that everything is going to be all right. There is no true joy without trusting God, for when you trust God you are aware that, whatever the situation, you are just an observer pasting through, that things will work out right for all concerned, and that everything really is okay.
When you touch the Christ of your being and can rest for a few moments in that sense of trust and peace which you find there, you automatically come away buoyed up and overflowing with joy. This feeling it totally spontaneous and, as you will discover, has nothing to do with what is happening in your life.
The feeling of true joy is a great harmonizer and healer, not only of inner emotions and human relations but of the physical body as well. In fact, it is this very feeling of inner joy which activates the healing forces by sending the message to your cells that receive this message, it has no choice but to follow and become whole. … It turns out that it is joy which gives you that sense of all-rightness.
It is true joy keeps you lifted, in spite of whatever is going around you. True joy arises out of your contact with the spirit within you. When the contact is made, the joy breaks forth. You have already been proving this for yourself, perhaps without fully knowing what was taking place.
The lives of the great spiritual teachers throughout history have been marked by joy. If one continues to dip into that font of divinity within, the result simply has to be the sense of joy which comes from trusting God.
Joy has been implanted in you from the beginning. No one can give it to you. No one, as Viktor Frankl observed, can take it from you. It is entirely in your own hands. If you are willing to turn inward to that Power which lies at your essence, you cannot help but find joy. It bolsters the soul and strengthens the body.
It is a most precious gift, this gift of joy, to be taken lightly and used frequently. As creations of God, we were meant to live in a state of joy always. As one who is traveling on The Quest, you are coming more and more to bear the permanent mark of joy. Recognize it in yourself and celebrate it.