Finding true joy means discovering what brings us peace, fulfillment and satisfaction. Joy is not dependent upon external conditions or our current circumstances. It doesn’t only reside in the things we do or have done, but also in who we are as individuals, in what lies in our hearts and souls.
We can lose ourselves and our sense of identity when we are in cycles of addiction, depression and other mental health issues. We can find ourselves feeling lost, overwhelmed, confused and desperate. Our emotional distress can distance us from everything we appreciate in life, everything that actually brings us joy within.
The truth of who we are is still there, however, underneath the layers of pain we’ve accumulated over the course of our lives. We might have to dig to find it, but it’s still there. Soul searching, self-reflection and contemplation are gifts we can use in our recovery process to help ourselves become reacquainted with who we are and what joy means for us.
Let’s use some questions as guidance. You can use them as writing prompts to journal with or as ideas to meditate on. As we think about these questions, we can activate our heart’s energy and wisdom by focusing our attention on our hearts. Try placing your hand over your heart and visualizing the light of your inner power emanating from your heart.
Who am I?
What is in my heart?
What do I love?
What do I love about life?
What do I love about being alive?
What lights me up and excites me?
Maybe you love people, animals, music, books. Perhaps you love to laugh, cook, take walks, swim. Maybe you love to see people smile. When you walk past flowers or dogs, they instantly cheer you up. When you see a striking sunset you’re immediately happier.
The truth of who you are lies beyond the limitations of the stories you’ve been telling yourself that you can’t heal, that you’ll always be depressed, that you’ll always be self-destructive. Maybe you love to give. You are a giver. Maybe you love art. You are an artist. We are beings of light and love. We are all the beautiful things that bring light to our hearts. Our joy lies in bringing these things to life. We can cultivate our joy by exploring who we are from our heart’s perspective.
The community at Riverside is here to support you in your recovery process. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.