Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
I have counseled individuals, couples, families and business
partners for the past 35 years and authored eight published
books. All this experience has resulted in the development of a
profound healing process, called Inner Bonding, which anyone
can learn and use throughout the day. One of the results of
practicing the Inner Bonding process is much more joy in your
What brings you joy? What really brings you joy, as opposed to
what you think brings you joy?
We have all been taught that we will be happy when we: find our
soulmate, make money, work at something we love. Or, we will
be happy and fulfilled when we have a house, have a child, do
service. Yet I have worked with people who have and do all of the
above and are still not happy, and I know of people who have
little or none of the above and are frequently joyful.
You might try to find your joy with substances such as alcohol or
drugs, but I have never met anyone using these substances
whose energy was truly joyful. You might try to find your joy
through getting love from others, or through sacrificing yourself
and caretaking others, but I have never met anyone who was a
taker or caretaker who was truly joyful. So, what creates joy?
Joy is not the result of what you do. Rather, you can find your
soulmate, make money, work at something you love, have a
house, have a child, or do service with or without joy. Joy is a
state of being that enters your heart when you are open to
learning and taking loving care of yourself.
Joy, like love and truth, is a gift of Spirit. Joy, love and truth enter
your being when your heart is open. Joy is the feeling of
exuberance and oneness that envelopes you once you have
opened to feeling your pain, learning from it, and moving through
it. Joy cannot enter your heart when you are protected against
your pain. When you protect against your pain, you close your
heart to avoid the pain, and joy cannot enter a closed heart.
Thus, joy is the result of doing your inner work to learn to keep
your heart open.
Sometimes I am amazed by this feeling of joy. I used to think that
my joy would come from good things happening outside of
myself. I certainly love for good things to happen, but often I find
myself feeling great joy even when nothing is happening!
I feel joy when my Inner Child feels loved by me, important to me,
cherished by me, seen by me, valued by me. I feel joy when I
attend to my wants and needs, saying "no" to others when I
mean no, and "yes" to others when I mean yes. I feel joy when
my Inner Child feels safe inside, knowing that I am taking care of
her, knowing that I am connecting with my spiritual Guidance
each moment so that we are not alone.
Joy is your birthright. It's what makes life worth living. Once you
taste it, you will want more and more of it. Yet too many people
stay stuck in their safety zone, thinking that protecting against
pain and trying to get love is what will make them safe and
happy. But do you really feel safe inside? Are your protections
really working to create safety within? If you are willing to be
honest with yourself and see that your protections aren't working,
then maybe you will open your heart and embrace your pain, with
a deep desire to learn what you may be doing that is causing it,
so that you can feel the joy of Spirit.