I was daydreaming this morning - my technical word for meditating! - thinking about healing and the need for healing in so many areas of the world, and in so many areas of our lives.
The image that came was that 'healing' is the equivalent of looking over our shoulder as we walk down the path of life. Healing involves looking backwards. Moreover, it focuses on what is 'broken', what is 'wrong', and what is out of alignment.
'Creative joy', the word that sprang into my mind as the opposite of healing, looks forward. It focuses on what is whole, what is desirable, what brings us joy and delight in life.
At first the idea seemed a little too facile, what about the pain? What about the suffering? What about the wounds? But as I thought about it more, I realised that focusing on what inspires us create healing, almost as a by-product.
When we are working towards something we 'ought' to do, it involves a lot of discipline, motivation and a big ‘push’. When we have an idea that inspires us, the same tasks becomes so very easy. This came home to me very clearly when I was studying for my Leaving Cert (the Irish equivalent of A Levels).
I dreamt of becoming an airline pilot (really!). I was utterly inspired by the dream and consumed by airplanes. Moreover, I believed it was possible. So I worked incredibly hard that year. Over the Christmas holidays, when everyone else was watching movies, I amazed even myself by leaving the warmth of the sitting room to go upstairs and study. To others it seemed hard, but to me it wasn't a burden, it was my path.
I did very well in my exams but I didn't get through the application process. Although I was very disappointed at the time, life carried on. However, the lesson I took from it, even then, was when we are deeply inspired, what others see as effort becomes tolerable, it becomes easy, it's doable.
And so it is when we seek to live our greatest joy: rather than focusing on what didn't work in the past, if we can look to the future that we do wish to create and take action in that direction, it is not an effort. It becomes doable.
And it’s a lot more fun than doing anything that we don’t believe in.