Joy and Returning to Joy
|Joy||Return to Joy|
Joy is a relational experience that is the basis for spiritual experience, human bonding, healthy identity growth and good health generally. Joy is the feeling many experience as “falling in love” with their baby, their grandchild, their first love, a puppy and a face that just lights up to see us.
Joy is our normal state as biological beings. No one seeks treatment for joy reduction. No one complains to coworkers about too much joy in their lives. No one worries about loved ones who are just too joyful these days. The problem is that people who are failing to thrive, have issues and live in conflict and do not seem to know or remember that joy would be a natural and rewarding way to live.
One of the first goals in creating a family, community or a recovery group is to build the group around joy. While many groups form around a shared fear or problem, this is not a desirable long-term plan. Joy is our deepest motivation and need. Joy needs to be the way we live. The developers of the Life Model at Shepherd’s House discovered a remarkable reduction in crises and the need for hospitalization when trauma and abuse survivors changed their main goal from dealing with trauma to building joyful lives.