Joy: the antidote to fear, anger & darkness

So much in this world brings us down, weighs upon our heart, troubles our mind, and makes us feel isolated and afraid. You could say this is the human condition, and it is about as far from joy as you can possibly get, especially when we are lost in states of hopelessness and fear.

So as a race we have a metaphoric mountain to climb, back to more consistent states of inspiration, happiness and joy. If these are to become the norm in our civilisation, which I assure you they are destined to be, then we each have to focus upon our own heart, and see what is oppressing it, keeping us in negative states, and preventing us contributing our inherently joyous nature to this world, which is our purpose.

People may argue that we are not inherently joyous, but just look at young children playing together in nature. That was how we started out, and that is our true essence; that playfulness, that humour, that mischievousness and light-heartedness. Of course, most of us lost it as we grew older and ‘adjusted’ (or more accurately, mal-adjusted) to our society and civilisation. Surrounded by a climate of seriousness and gravity, it is not surprising we slowly became more and more weighed down by the adult ways of the world, and consequently we became less and less happy, less inspired, less creative, less passionate and less joyful. The ways of the world crept into our heart, and tainted our natural joyful innocence, which is the essence of who we are.

We became judgemental about free self-expression, about being joyful and carefree. We became more reserved; more like everyone else. We conformed to the norm.

But guess what? The real you, the inspired, creative and joyful you has not gone away. It only became buried, withheld and hidden from yourself and from the world. But it is still there. The child whom you were is still there in your heart, desperate for free self-expression, play, laughter and fun. Perhaps you find this hard to believe, now that you have ‘grown up’, but I assure that it is true.

Because in the eyes of the adult world, these are frivolous and unproductive qualities that do not makes the cogs of the societal machine turn more effectively. And the denial of them within you is par for the course. We relegate their importance. They drop way down our priority list, because they are they not valued as a commodity by the world around us, and we inevitably become serious and generally unhappy as a result.

But these qualities are incredibly valuable, in fact the most valuable aspect of who we are. They are vital to our appreciation and enjoyment of being alive – absolutely vital – and it is of the utmost importance that we do enjoy and appreciate being alive, because in this we experience our wholeness, our fulfilment and our deep sense of union with the universe. There is nothing more important, and without this basic enjoyment of being alive, we miss the purpose of life itself. It is meant to be a joyful and wondrous experience that we share together, and thus amplify the enjoyment by doing so. This is a vision of heaven on Earth, and this is exactly what we are all working towards, whether we realise it or not.

We are collectively becoming more conscious of the human dysfunction, and our own dysfunction in the process. We are learning about how we make ourselves, (and thus others) suffer, through our stubbornness, selfishness, greed, judgment, aggression and arrogance. We are noticing and learning about these aspects of our personality, and doing what we can to overcome them, to eradicate them, to heal them. This is the personal journey each one is us us on. It may be a slow and arduous journey, but each little decision we make that moves us away from dysfunction and selfishness bring more light into our life, into our heart, into our relationships and into the world.

We each have been given a most precious and beautiful gift: our heart; a radiant, loving, giving and deeply caring entity in and of itself. The human heart is the most divine and magnificent creation in the entire universe, and you have one. Are you aware of it? Do you know what it needs? Is it active in your life? How much of your attention does it get? Is it strong, is it healthy, is it free?

These are the vital questions we must each ask ourselves, and work on addressing. We do need a strong, active and healthy heart that we can feel, that gets plenty of our attention. It needs to be the dominant force in our life, making the most vital decisions in our life in consultation with our intelligence. We must consider what improves our ability to be a light in this world, to increase our desire to care for others, to support and understand others, rather than judge and condemn them, ourselves included.

As our heart gets more of our attention, gets consulted more regularly, become stronger and more active in our day to day life, we notice ourselves becoming a deeper person, a more whole and rounded human being, with the facets of compassion, humour and joy shining more and more brightly, among many others. A deeper sense of fulfilment is experienced, and our relationships become more rich, more harmonious, more fun and more enjoyable. Life becomes a much more rewarding and enjoyable experience, with a deep sense of purpose and direction. We are moving away from the sense of terminal seriousness created by the adult thinking mind, away from worry, away from fear away, from criticism, judgement and hostility, and embracing (or more accurately, remembering) the heart-based truth of who we really are.

Is there a down side? Of course not, but we must be willing to let go of our fears, let go of our judgement, anger and resentment. We must be willing to forgive all those people who we feel hurt us or wronged us. This is essential, if our heart is to become more free and more joyful. Resentment keeps us trapped in the cycle of blame and anger that slowly destroys our joy and our compassion, and forgiveness is the only way to release it.

So how do we forgive? It is simple; we consciously decide to stop punishing someone, stop throwing our anger in their direction (even if they are no longer alive, or in our life). Sending out our anger and bitterness simply brings it back to us, and our heart continues to be poisoned. For it to be free, it must forgive, it must stop punishing with anger. Only then can love and joy be fully restored.

So, as you can see, we each have work to do, to let go of that which weighs down and poisons our heart. That which divides us from all the people we know and meet. To rise above this, we must be practical, as mental theories simply keep us in our mind.

We need to become aware of how everything we do affects us. What we eat, what we think, what we watch and listen to, what we read, the environments we choose to spend our time in. Everything affects us, because we are much more sensitive and easily influenced than we realise.

The information that we read, watch and listen to influences our thoughts, often encouraging greater negativity within them. We observe the villains of the moment in the news and in politics, and we are encouraged to be angry, sometimes even hateful in our opinions about them, and this rubs off on everyone we interact with. All the negative global news simply encourages a negative mindset; one of fear and anxiety about how things might turn out in the future. Watching violence in films desensitises us and thickens our skin, encouraging us to be guarded and tough minded, rather than open, sensitive and vulnerable with the people we interact with. All the advertising (which is specifically engineered to influence us subconsciously) makes us feel inadequate and insecure about ourselves, encouraging us that we will be more likeable, more popular and more acceptable if we just spend our money on certain things.

Days of predominantly being sedentary, staring at screens of one sort or another, rather than being outdoors enjoying nature and being active, makes us feel tired, lazy, unenthusiastic, demotivated and often denies us the deep states of sleep we all need to recuperate and recharge every night. And the food, the terrible food that people put in their body just compounds this sense of physical malaise. We are either over-stimulated by sugar, chocolate, coffee and so on (resulting in inevitable energy crashes), or weighed down by heavy, hard-to-digest meals that make us feel sluggish and tired, often encouraging digestive problems and a sense of physical unease.

It is very hard to be aware of your heart when your entire digestive system is groaning and aching as a result of what you have eaten. And stimulants such as coffee and sugar turbo-charge our energy levels and release adrenaline, making us feel temporarily super energised and efficient, yet unable to be calm, steady, attentive and aware of the more subtle things. Things like sugar, coffee and chocolate can actually make us feel more aggressive and irritable, especially when they leave our blood stream. Almost all stimulants & drugs have a withdrawal effect when they wear off.

Balanced, more simple, natural and lighter eating makes us more sensitive, more alert and more naturally energised without the need for stimulants. We start to feel a natural high, just from being alive, especially if we include a high percentage of raw foods, juices and smoothies in our diet. Couple this with regularly spending more time in nature – walking, hiking or cycling perhaps – then you are drastically changing the way you nourish your heart, and you will feel it. You will feel more healthy, more inspired and more positive about life generally. Your day-to-day moods will change. You will feel more uplifted.

Add to this a drastic reduction in screen time, whether it is social media, YouTube, TV or anything else, plus a more regular sleeping habit of going to bed earlier (and eating a lighter evening meal), and you will be amazed how much brighter, healthier and happier you feel. Your patterns of thought will naturally change to be more positive, especially as you realise that you are in control of how you feel. You no longer feel at the mercy of other people, of world events, of politics etc. because your sense of freedom and joy does not depend on them. It is completely the result of your choices and your decisions.

This is one of the most liberating realisations we can have… that our choices determine our experience of Life. They determine how we feel, how we think, how we perceive the world and how we act within it. Your amazingly powerful yet seemingly insignificant choices; they will take you in the direction of health, joy and fulfilment, if that is where you want to go. Or they will keep you stuck in repetitive cycles of negative thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

And then life simply seem like a broken record going round and round, that you have no power to change. But the power you have is not so much to change the world, but more to transcend the inner negativity, division and darkness that human society can encourage within us. So the vital change occurs within you. As you make more wise, intelligent, conscious and life affirming choices that nourish and uplift your heart, you become more full of light, more full of joy. You became happy and radiant. You begin to shine like the Sun, acting as an example and an inspiration to those around you, and those you encounter. It really does all begin with you. Today.

Alexander Bell : http://AlexanderBell.org

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About Alexander Bell

Spiritual teacher, composer, author, father and healing nutritionist. • http://AlexanderBell.org
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