I am back with Virtue Wednesdays and would like to talk about a very important virtue: Joyfulness.
Why is it important? Because being joyful and happy is what gives us energy, hope for the best and simply keeps us healthy both physically and spiritually.
I like the following quotation by Abdu’l-Baha as it describes the best:
“Joy gives us wings! In times of joy our strength is more vital, our intellect keener, and our understanding less clouded. We seem better able to cope with the world and to find out sphere of influence.“
As a parent of a very spirited 4 year old, I often catch myself that the way I speak to her is more like giving instructions. This kind of conversation can’t possibly give joy neither to her, nor to me. More over, it is very very stressful! “Sit properly! Please, be gentle with your sister! This is the third time I am asking you to put your toys away!” Sounds familiar? Most of us, parents, are like that. When the child FINALLY follows your request/order, you feel yourself drained! There is no satisfaction from the child finally complying, just frustration and probably headache. Where’s joy in all of that?
I am not saying we should stop telling our children how to behave or stop training them. But in between we have to find time to be joyful. To let those wings of joy lift us up. To laugh together with our children. Or, as my husband says, to know which battles to fight and which not.
Most important, we have to find that inner joy in ourselves and teach our children to be joyful despite of what is happening outside of their inner world.
How to do that? I can’t possibly tell you. Except, when you approach a situation – try to let the joy into your heart first. Oh, it is so difficult! But when I manage to remember to do that, I find that I express myself better and resolve the situation with a better outcome, leaving myself and my child happy.
What do you do to keep yourself and your child joyful?