Joy, we can discover that through “things” or from the essential elements of life. However, take the elements away from us that make us happy, and we feel sad, depressed, and angry. It would be like robbers who break into the home to steal everything that once brought a smile to our face. Those robbers would leave us heart-broken, sad, crying, angry, and depressed. In another illustration, envision a sagging, weeping plant in the hot sun with no moisture as the ground begins to harden. The plant is dying, and looks fatigued as the water is dissipated from the hard ground. The roots and stem are deprived of vital nutrients. Likewise, when our inner being is deprived of essential spiritual elements, the fruit of joy begins to die within the hardened person. A degree of depression sets in.
The human body is the home of something very special that includes various divine qualities of which joy is one. When the spirit of joy is absent, the inner being will experience sadness, depression and anger. Although “things” can bring us happiness, when they are taken away we might feel depression within us. That is when we need to let go of our attachment to “things” and focus on the survival of the divine inner quality of joy. Likewise, the essential elements to the plant include soft, moist soil, and from the softness within us is found the vital nutrient of joy.
The divine qualities of our inner being are found within the soft moist areas that exist in us, and that is where you will discover joy. If you look for joy in a hardened and calloused place of your inward self, you will not discover it. There you experience sadness and depression. Neither would you find a sunflower growing in a pot of rocks. Joy is a spiritual fruit that has roots in the same softness where love, peace, gentleness, and meekness bloom. In addition, kindness, goodwill, faith, goodness, self-control, perseverance, and patience will blossom too. Joy blossoms from the softness of the spirit, not through hardness.
The pillaging of the fruit of joy can happen through circumstances of our health. When a person’s inner joy is pillaged it leads to abuse of their health through various forms.
I am sure that we have all witnessed the same scenario that I am about to illustrate. Envision a joyful, smiling, friendly, and altogether healthy person who enters college life. That joyous person meets a group of happy friends who enjoy the weekends by partying. During the course of the friendship the group of friends convinces you that one or two drinks are good, and it’s part of the fun of college life. The alcohol drinking becomes more and more. Drugs are introduced, and a new substitute is found for the inner joy once experienced. The smile on the face and the spirit of joy becomes less and less as the pressures to do well academically increases. That is when sadness, depression, and anger begin to fill you inwardly and tragic consequences may follow.
The above scenario explains how the fruit of our inner joy is pillaged through circumstances of our health by the name of “fun.” People who seem friendly and fun introduce us to habits that eventually rob us of the spiritual fruit of joy. Let’s never exchange the divine quality of joy that is in us for a lifestyle that turns us sad, depressed, angry, and unhealthy.
The pillaging of joy can happen through circumstances involving our security. When our joy has been stolen it can leave us feeling insecure and unsafe.
Joy can come as we experience that first new job, or regaining employment after a term of not being employed. We feel happy, optimistic, and ready to face the workplace with an attitude of peace and co-operation. In addition, there is a jubilation or elation just thinking about the financial security that will come through steady work. With that joy bubbling within, we feel faith that the people around us will contribute to our safety and security. The spiritual fruit of joy lives within to make us optimistic of a safe and secure environment.
Initially, we walk into our workplace dawning a smile and friendly spirit with an attitude of co-operation and goodwill. However, what happens to our joy when the circumstances that involve our security begin to change? Where we once felt joyful and optimistic about our working abilities, we discover negative reactions from others at the workplace. The fellow employees begin to make you feel insecure about your performance, and the manager gives you sub-standard evaluations. The pillaging of your joy has begun as you begin to feel sad, depressed, and even angry at the apparently unfair treatment. In addition, the optimism of having financial abundance confronts the reality of few hours, or far too many to be happy about. We begin to feel insecure and unsafe regarding the employees around us who are supposed to be our support, team mates, and guidance. Along with uncertainty in our security, we are feeling depression, sadness, and anger.
When thieves and robbers ravish our joy through things that bring us security we need to let go. Let go of the idea that jobs, finances, and those around us establish our safety and security. We need to absorb into the attitude that the inward fruit of joy is the real source of our peace, comfort, and stability. That inner joy will turn our depression, sadness, and anger to optimism. We can find that joy by responding to insecurities from the softness that lives in us, there we discover patience and perseverance with our joy.
The pillaging of our joy can happen through our desire to belong with others. When our joy has been stolen the possibility of belonging seems hopeless.
We might feel joyful and optimistic about our acceptance by others within various social groups. Being happy about the school we attend can blossom the fruit of joy in the classrooms and among other students. From school, we might carry a smile home with us where family members embrace that happiness. In that environment, optimism will flourish about the welcome we might receive when time comes to enter the workplace. Then we joyfully find a place of belonging as a contributing community member. That joy involves the stuff that dreams are made of.
In contrast, many people experience the pillaging of that joy causing them to feel unwanted and isolated. The school experience turns into bullying and hazing causing withdrawal, sadness, depression, anger, and worst. From there, the student returns home to retreat to their room to recover a sense of joy on the computer, through music, or other individual endeavors. The parents pillage that joy further by demanding to know why they are avoiding family members and staying in their room. Hope seems dim and depression sets in about what life will be like after school, in the workplace. The future within the community is a thought that creates sadness, depression, and anger. The pillaging of joy makes the possibility of “fitting in” seem impossible.
Through various social experiences, we will come across those who thrive on pillaging our joy. If we become sad, depressed, and angry we let them defeat our desire to belong socially in a harmonic society. We can retain our joy, happiness, and optimism by responding through the soft, moist qualities of our inner being. It is there that socially accepted qualities thrive through love, peace, faith, and perseverance.
The pillaging of joy happens to our sense of self-worth, which causes self-destruction and violence to others.
Through the fruit of joy blossoming in us, we are happy for who we are. A feeling of optimism exists in our sense of self-worth so that we believe in a fruitful future. The successes that we accomplish contribute to the happiness within our egos. Likewise, when those joyful feelings live within us, we can also value the worth of others. We can extend our optimistic attitude for the future of others from a spirit of goodwill for them. In addition, we convey our joyful praises to the goodness of their successes. With joy present within us, we can respect ourselves, and show esteem for the worth of others.
If we experience no joy within us, then our self-worth is filled with sadness, depression, and anger. The pillaging of that inner fruit of joy robs the happiness from our self-esteem. People might come at us with various forms of ridicule, degradation, and humiliation. They make us feel sad, angry, and depressed about who we are. We feel hopeless for what the future has for us, and unwanted by those of our present. There is despair for what we have become in the eyes of others, with no recognition other than for our short comings. Not only do we begin to feel worthless within ourselves, but we begin to hate those within the population who stole the joy from our egos. People waste themselves and others when joy is not within self-worth.
Let’s respond to ridicule and humiliation in a way that returns the inner fruit of joy to us. We do that by realizing trophies, praise, applause, and recognition from earthly sources will not add enduring happiness to our inward being. In the same way, we should understand that when people degrade us, it is how we respond that determines the impact on ourselves and others. Let’s respond through the spirit of peace, meekness, and gentleness. Then we will experience the fruit of joy blossom within our sense of worth. Let’s be good to ourselves and to others.
The pillaging of joy can happen through circumstances of our self-expression. When thieves and robbers come to steal those joyous moments of self-expression, sadness, depression, and anger follows.
We experience joy when we are able to express ourselves to others through our words or deeds. When we are among friends, we feel happy to express our thoughts and experiences with one another. That freedom of exchange creates the spirit of optimism to express our ideas, opinions, and inspirations in days to come. We also feel joy to express ourselves through books written, or deeds of goodwill performed for those around us. The fruit of joy blossoms when we are free to express the creativity within us.
Can you envision an environment where there is no joy in a self-expression, but others pillage that happiness in communication? There would only be sadness, depression, and anger within our words and deeds. However, we do experience the effects of thieves who steal the joy from our self-expression. When we attempt to express our joyfulness in words or behavior with friends, there will be those who become disruptive through rude interruptions. They rob the group of that happiness in sharing, which leaves everyone frustrated, angry and depressed. They begin to lose their desire to communicate joyfully, but seem to experience the opportunity to express their negative feelings. Often the joy of a new endeavor of words or behavior is not recognized. We seem to feel muted, and depression mixed with anger could result. The pillaging of the joy within our words and deeds results in oppressed and negative expression of ourselves.
Let’s learn to let go of the need to be heard physically through words and behavior. We should be heard through the divine qualities of our inner being. The joy that lives in us can be seen through a tiny smile or a twinkle in the eye. It is that joy that unites us together when some oppose that happiness in a self-expression. We find that joy within the soft moist qualities within. Let’s respond gently and peaceably to oppressive and depressing circumstances.
It is important to understand that some people oppose our happiness. Like robbers and thieves, they want to deny us the joy that lives within our inmost being. They pillage and ravage our happiness until we are filled with sadness, depression, and anger within our thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Bargaining with those who ravage our inner being of that fruit of joy is like throwing our sunflower seeds to the birds for feed. They will never accept the blossoms of joy that begin to sprout within you.
We can assess that within our inner being is the divine presence of joy. The diagnosis is that some people will pillage that joy like robbers ravaging a home. Even so, we plan to respond with hope to keep the morsels of joy alive within us. We implement that plan by living within the soft, moist qualities that exist within us. It is there that joy, along with the fruit of perseverance, love, peace, and faith lives. We will know that we are successful in keeping hope alive because the seedlings of the spiritual fruit will sprout, and joy will blossom.