Go for the Joy!
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
Go for the Joy!Navigating the map of you.
The pursuit of happiness is named as an inalienable right in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, because every human strives to achieve this fleeting state and maintain it as long as possible. We often think of happiness and joy as interchangeable, but one is more a pleasant state of contentment, while the other is a deep and profound emotional experience. We know we want happiness, but when we experience joy, we realize just how much more intense an emotion it is.
At the border of any challenging landscape are the Peaks of Joy that offer a perspective you can’t find anywhere else. These peaks are at the top of the world, where your heart soars and you experience deep awe at the privilege of being part of such a beautiful and Enchanted Map. From this vantage point, you can see the interconnections with other maps, the underlying layers that reveal what yours once looked like before you made the choice to change.
When I stand on the Peaks of Joy, I can see the geography that replaced the Barren Desert and the other painful landscapes I was lost in for so long. Gratitude fills me when I realize where I was going back when I was trapped in those landscapes. Now I can see all the interconnected, magical layers. I see the people I met “accidentally” who changed my life and would never have crossed my path had I not altered my map. I see the lands I transformed, and I am so glad to be alive and able to experience this marvelous adventure, guided by spiritual allies.
Gratitude and awe transport us to the Peaks of Joy in an instant. Our perspective about everything in life automatically shifts while seeing from this sentry point.
Happiness is fleeting, and our false symbols for it are the things that foster the illusion that everything is going great and therefore we’re content and always will be. But genuine happiness occurs within us regardless of our circumstances—and we can be happy by choice. Micromanaging our circumstances or parking ourselves in front of the TV or inside of the status quo, chugging along doing exactly what we’ve always done and never striving for more, does not provide the happiness we’re looking for. It certainly doesn’t get us close to joy.
Westerners, in particular, have been taught that happiness can be purchased at the mall or, better yet, through “this special TV offer” (and, as I mentioned, now such values are being spread to other areas of the world). In the West, we seem to want only what is shiny and new, what promises to make us look younger and be more attractive to potential lovers. We want what will provide us with a sense of security, a sense of belonging, and we convince ourselves that the advertisements are correct: money can buy happiness.
Genuine happiness and joy are found when you let go of your limited notions about what circumstances will make you happy and choose instead to see the world as an enchanted place. Purpose, security, love, and belonging—and the ability to evolve—are part of your birthright. To claim them, you need only to find the magic. It’s there, on the Enchanted Map.