Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of: December 23, 2002


Shared Joy

 You meet someone who seems on top of the world with everything going for them. Luck, health, happiness, fortune, talent and romance all meeting at once in him or her. How do you feel in response? Or an acquaintance has some wonderful event happen in their life and informs you of the good news. How do you feel? Do you start to pick it all apart, looking for the holes and gaps? Do you tell yourself that it’s all temporary and that they will surely be brought back down eventually? Are your congratulatory comments hollow? Do you secretly begrudge them their happiness, while inwardly criticizing them?

Seeing such attitudes at work in ourselves reminds us of our pettiness and self-centeredness. But seeing those inner reactions also loosens their grip on us and opens the door to freedom from them, toward allowing ourselves to share another person’s joy. Cultivating a benevolent emotional response sympathetic to others’ happiness pierces the shell of our egoism and works against our envy and jealousy.

For this week, notice your thoughts and emotions in responding to another’s happiness. Allow yourself to feel that person’s good fortune, to share their joy, even if just for a moment.


     

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