I am healing with joy, and you can too. I’ve found that when I tap into the energy of joy in simple ways–with laughter, lightheartedness, gratitude, compassion–suffering gives way to healing.
“Your body cannot heal without play. Your mind cannot heal without laughter. Your soul cannot heal without joy.” – Catherine Rippenger
In order to heal, we need to laugh again. We need to be playful again, and we must leave space for joy to fill in the cracks. “Our most natural state is joy,” says alternative medicine advocate, Deepak Chopra. “It is the foundation for love, compassion, healing, and the desire to alleviate suffering.”
We don’t heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past through our willingness to forgive it and find joy in the present. We can strengthen our compassion muscle, and with that comes strengthened awareness of the joy of living.
I am still learning how not to dwell in the pain of my past, but to gently hold my loving memories of that place. I’m in a conscious practice of forgiving the pain of loss, of savoring the good memories, and finding meaning in the suffering so that I can turn my tragedies into triumph.
My personal alchemy happens every time I write here.
I have faith that you can practice this, too, if you choose to, no matter what you’ve endured and no matter how you find your therapeutic release. I have faith that you can remember the joy that was and is, and use it to propel you further into a state of peace today, and tomorrow. There is healing in trying.
I Am Healing with Joy
“Don’t ever discount the wonder of your tears. They can be healing waters and a stream of joy. Sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak.” – Wm. Paul Young
If we’re willing to say to ourselves, “I am healing with joy,” we’re more likely to place emphasis on the joy of our past. We don’t need to let the suffering control our lives anymore. The pain might still be there, but we can practice lightening the load, with joy.
I’ve decided I’d rather be led in love; I’d rather Love be my North Star, not sadness nor resent. And you?
I have let go of the life I had planned, and I have opened up to the one I didn’t even know existed. I lost people I really, really love, but I still have something that can’t be taken away from me: my attitude going forward. I’d rather believe in something larger than loss, deeper than pain, more eternal than death.
Joy was never a priority in my life, not before I knew what loss felt like. Of course, I wanted to be happy, but it was never a priority. Now it is, and I’m learning how to make art of the practice of being in joy, through writing. And it has been a healing, a great healing.
A beautiful life is not without pain, but perhaps pain is beautiful in its own right. It leads to beautiful places, if we let ourselves be led by joy. Lean into joy, and we will be led.
When You Heal, Many Heal
Your healing is connected with the healing of others. There is no true isolation when it comes to the energy of healing, or anything. When you change, it’s like a pebble cast into the water, which ripples out and touches every single relationship you keep.
When you start to have compassion for all those unwanted parts of yourself, you heal, and others are touched by that. Your acceptance and forgiveness sets an example for others. Every time you choose not just to think positive thoughts, but to be in the frequency of those thoughts, you’re a light in the world.
With joy, your healing becomes like the petals of a flower, opening one by one in time with the sun. You help others just by your own willingness to forgive more, to love deeper, and to learn a new way to live. It’s all a practice, and it blooms when you water it.
How We Can Proactively Heal through Joy
“Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” – Pema Chodron
Healing is attracted to our intention to heal. When we choose healing, we don’t choose suffering. We may still stand in a painful place, but our direction is what guides us out of it. Healing is a practice, I believe, and a course we can take.
This brings to mind one of my favorite quotes from Oliver Wendell Holmes:
I find that the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it— but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
I practice healing in the following ways:
- I promote what I love, instead of energizing what I do not love. I try to think and talk about the positive elements of my past, what I appreciate today, and what I look forward to tomorrow. I’m currently breaking the habit of adding up my problems, complaining, and ruminating.
- I laugh at the crazy thoughts. When a jealous, impatient, or stressful thought knocks on the door, I literally laugh at it. I might even say, “You’re crazy!” I get no response; the crazy thought is silent, because it’s not intelligent. When I laugh at it, I transcend it.
- I find resonance with things I want (like joy), not unwanted things (like pain). The more I allow myself to get into an energetic state of appreciation, forgiveness, or stillness, the more I empower joy to show up in my day, and the less power I feed the pain.
- I practice becoming conscious of my thoughts, energy, words, and actions. I try to just observe it all, and let go of judging it or labeling it as good or bad. This practice helps me take a step back and see myself as something more than just those thoughts or experiences.
- I let there be room for everything. Again, I just try to suspend judgment and allow what I can’t control to happen without too much resistance. I try to leave space for grief and joy, pain and healing. In the absence of resistance, joy and healing tend to slowly and steadily “win the race” in the long run.
- I strengthen my trust in the process, even though I do not understand it. Trusting something larger than myself (with a plan better than my own) helps me lighten up.
- I focus on bringing mindfulness into activities I do not enjoy. This helps transform a tedious or uninteresting task (like doing dishes or driving) into a meaningful experience.
When I follow any of the above practices, I feel like I’m allowed to enjoy my life more, right now, instead of waiting to start living after all my pain has dissipated.
The real achievement is to live each step of the journey in joy, to be aware of our lives while we live them. That is the real reward; it’s not somewhere else, it’s here. The joy does not come from what we do, but from how we do it, and how we live can heal what we’ve been through.
- What are you currently recovering from, and what has helped you through this healing process?
- Do any of the thoughts mentioned in this post resonate with you?
- Have you tried any of the practices that I try, and how have they worked for you?
- In which ways would you like to try to heal with joy?
Please share your loving thoughts, healing insights, practices and activities that help you heal past pain, lessons in letting go and forgiving, and any inspiring stories with me in the comments.
Share this with someone who might appreciate a little lift.
You are in the process of living, and you are healing. It’s a process, and it can be a practice.