Joy Makes Uncommon Sense
March 3, 2010
Joy and comfort are not always friends.
For instance, you would think joy would be an easier feeling or road to take than, say, pessimism, or despair. But it ain’t necessarily so. If you’re comfortable with your daily routine, joy could come as a rude awakening.
Or if your thought patterns are programmed to, for example, avoid disappointment at all costs, you might choose the low road: Let me expect that life is crap, and I won’t be let down. And if you look around you, you’ll see that cynicism and a jaded view of life are more the norm, and are usually considered more cool.
I myself have a built-in resistance to experiencing joy. Joy tends to break up my comfortable routine of…daily routine itself, of a predictable (and therefore comfortable) course of a day.
Like the laughing exercise I sometimes do: I will sometimes interrupt my thought patterns (which are often troublesome) and spontaneously, and for no particular reason, burst into laughter! This not only pops my depressive trance, but also my equilibrium. “What was that?!” my mind demands. “What’s so damn funny?!” Imagine — we can’t let ourselves laugh unless something’s funny!
This goes with other ludicrous (but logical sounding) thoughts and assumptions, like…
You can’t live without money.
Your friends must only be people you like.
As you get older, you must act more “mature”.
Now your mind might be saying…
What kind of nonsense is this?! I’d like to see you just try to live without money!
Until you realize that all kinds of people do, all the time: Children; the poor in many parts of the world. Or those who’ve renounced worldly things. Hey – I like money! But don’t tell me that if it all got taken away from me, I’d suddenly drop dead. My life would change; and I’d find a way to make it through.
And so would you, whether you know it or not.
And friends? Of course it’s more pleasant to have as friends only those people you like. But it’s also more limiting. What if your criteria for friendship was — instead of pleasantness and affability — value? What if you experimented and chose friends only because they were interesting, or because they could teach you things you need to learn? How would this open up your life?
And getting older, you’re told that you’re supposed to “act your age”, which is really code for “act in accordance with our expectations, lest you make us uncomfortable!” What kind of crap is Act Your Age? Usually when people tell you to grow up and be responsible, they mean responsible to everyone but yourself.
Today’s Joygasm: Living a joyful life means making uncommon sense.