The happiest sound I know is the unbridled universal expression of a child's joy. It's so natural and unforced, springing from an untapped reservoir of something so good; they just have to laugh out loud. They look up immediately to see if you caught them feeling the joy because they have to share it. Their eyes sparkle with conspiracy and, instinctively, they know that same feeling is waiting to be experienced again and again. You catch them trying to re-create whatever it was that led to joy. Amazingly, they look up every time to make sure you got it again, too, because it feels so good.

"When I can't stand it anymore, when I get sick of being sick, I hear myself screaming, What is it with you?"

I know that feeling. Joy is an innate capacity; one of many innate gifts like common sense, perspective, and wisdom, that we experience when our mind is clear and unencumbered with distractions.

Joy regularly overtakes me and my senses. My laughter is genuine, deep, hearty, and contagious. People hear me, feel me coming, and greet me with anticipation. As I eagerly share the feeling, everything seems to fall into place, effortlessly. Life is full of potential and I'm grateful to be living it.

There are other times when my thoughts are confused and I lose my perspective of the joy in life. I lose sight of the genesis of joy, the sharing that gives pleasure to special moments. All I want to do is drop out for a while. I experience symptoms of depression, take to my bed, actually make myself sick. The power of thought is astounding.

When I can't stand it anymore, when I get sick of being sick, I hear myself screaming, "What is it with you? What is this?" The answer shakes me awake. It occurs to me that I am creating this experience. The paradox amuses me. How bizarre that I would let my own thinking take me so far away from joy.

Clues You Can Use

If you have taken to your bed, or dropped out in a state of confusion and depression, remember this is not a natural state of mind. The quality of your thinking is less than reliable and you might as well rest for a while, you probably need it.

When you're ready, when you've dredged up all that old stuff of previous episodes, that repetitive litany of guilt, and regret and other unhealthy thoughts, you'll come face to face with yourself and somewhere deep within your soul you'll realize that it's on you. Only you can steal your joy. Only you can restore it.

That new feeling, that sense of worthiness, that awareness of the possibilities of life, those are clues that you've accessed the insight and perspective you've been looking for.

Ah, perspective. It restores our sanity, our health, our faith. What's more, all we need is a tiny bit of perspective, an ember of faith to rekindle thoughts of hope and possibility. That's enough to keep us ever mindful of how good it is to be living a life replete with an unlimited supply of all of our innate capacities...especially joy...that girds our spirit and waits for us to experience it again and again.

©2012 Tracey E. Carruthers
Note: Tracey E. Carruthers is an executive coach and founder of may "reprint" copies of Clues You Can Use Articles on-line as long as they remain complete and unaltered including this note. Please send links to your reprints below.

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