Causeless joy? What could that possibly mean?
Well, it’s a concept my meditation teacher taught me a year ago. It’s the idea (at least how I understand it for me) is that material things, places, vacations, people, family, friends, geographical location don’t cause joy. Joy is something that comes from within and just is, because we exist. As a former shopping addict who only had joy when acquiring stuff, this felt foreign.
It’s a pretty radical concept for me to embrace as my body has been riddled with physical illnesses and pain. How can you have joy when you can’t even come close to living the life you want? I’m not entirely sure I can answer it, but for me sometimes just knowing I’m still taking another breath will bring joy. It also sometimes brings heartache as my body is so diseased and painful that I wish it would give out already, especially in those moments I feel so alone.
So causeless joy is something I’ve thought a lot about today as I’ve been riddled with a horrible migraine for a week from IVIG treatment without any medical support to get through it or know what to do about it as the neurologist never called back after I returned their call.
When you are in so much pain and the slightest amount of light makes you vomit, how can you find joy? Well I didn’t mostly, but I remembered that even if people aren’t checking in on me, it doesn’t mean they don’t care. Just because I mostly walk through life very alone (I have incredible distance support and a couple local friends who help as they can), I have to be joyous in just knowing myself and however many more days, months, or years I walk this earth are a gift.
Reality is I’ve really wished my body would die this past week. Nothing suicidal, but when you’ve suffered as much as I have physically this past couple years, it’s a reality. It’s not about depression, it’s about how much physical suffering can the human spirit take, especially alone.
Today, I had the memory of my meditation teacher teaching me about causeless joy. I’m working on embracing it over the suffering.
How can you incorporate a bit of causeless joy in your life? What does it mean to you? Is it a possibility?
The top picture is the day I was introduced to the concept of causeless joy. I was totally sick that day, but I stopped for a moment of sunlight on my way home from my meditation teachers house. This second picture is obvious how much I am suffering physically today, but I’m still looking for causeless joy in a life that has been feeling entirely empty of anything good.