How to Have a Joyful Mind

Joy and happiness. Webster's dictionary states the two are synonyms, basically interchangeable. Scripture speaks of joy in a different light. It refers to joy as a sense of contentment regardless of our circumstances. In other words, the peace the world cannot give.

I've searched most of my life for a way to reach this rung in the spiritual ladder. I've tried many different methods: intense prayer, relaxation and mediation exercises, positive thinking and so much more.

They all helped to a degree. Yes, prayer can accomplish anything - if you are praying the right kind of prayer and with the right motivation. Merely begging God to change your circumstances will not leave you feeling joyful and filled with peace, unless you can give the circumstances to Him - completely - and then move on.

That's where I struggle, along with several other issues. Like an alcoholic at an AAA meeting, I must stand up and admit I am a worrier, I am a control freak, I am judgemental of others, I am selfish,  and I could go on, but you get the idea. And, I know I am not alone.

So, how do we flawed creatures find joy when faced with our own flaws, when faced with the flaws of others and the issues surrounding our troubling circumstances? A very good question.

In answer, I have found the book, The Naked Now by Richard Rohr to be one of the most insightful books I have read. Father Rohr gives a non-denominational, non-political, all encompassing insight into accepting and coping with our imperfections, those of everyone around us, and of our world.

Listed below are a few suggestions from the book that impacted my life greatly. These gems, repeated often throughout my day have enabled me to remain in a joyful, peaceful state of mind for longer periods than at any other time in my life - regardless of the turmoil surrounding me.

What might a joyful mind be?

When your mind does not need to be right.
When you no longer need to compare yourself with others.
When you no longer need to compete - not even in your own head.
When your mind can be creative, but without needing anyone to know.
When your mind does not "brood over injuries."
When you do not need to humiliate, critique, or defeat those who have hurt you - not even in your mind.

Thank you, Lord, for leading me to this wonderful source of spiritual insight,  for giving me the encouragement to follow the suggestions, and for being patient through my many failures. As you have told me over and over, it isn't how many times I fail, it is how hard I try that matters. Amen.

Comments

  1. Joy...too often elusive. I think we forget that joy is within us, the joy of the Lord. That's what we need to tap into. That book sounds great, Ceci. Thanks for a great post!

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  2. nice post thanks for sharing looking for to visit more...blessings

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  3. Yes, Lynn. Joy is within us, not due to outside circumstances. Yet, in this world it is hard to remember that when the focus of our society is to obtain stuff to make us happy.

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  4. Soraya, thank you for stopping in and commenting.I look forward to our visits as well.

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  5. All I can say is Wow! Just this morning in my Bible study time, I was studying "does God want me to be happy?" The answer is, yes, He does, but happiness comes from Spiritual things, not earthly things. If we seek joy in better finances, a different job, a different/better "whatever", then our joy will never be complete. Our joy is in the Lord, not our circumstances. Then, I read your blog on the same topic. How interesting you would post that today. ;)

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  6. Lorna, it seems He reinforces the things He most wants us to know. I am not surprised at all He is focusing this particular thing on you and me in light of our current difficulties. We both desperately need it.

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  7. These are great. Similar to what Joyce Meyer writes about. These are the keys to peace as well. I'm going to look for this book. I'm always needing more peace and joy in my life. Thank you so much for this recommendation.

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  8. You are welcome, Mare. I haven't read anything by Joyce Meyers. Several mention here and praise her highly. I believe I will look up some of her work.

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  9. Cecilia,

    Thank you so much for stopping by my new blog and your thoughtful comment. There's nothing like Southern cooking. Anytime you'd like to share a recipe please let me know.

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