How to Have a Joyful Mind
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.