Authenticity, part 4
Joy is the last and final practice of courage.
Joy is the culmination of the previous three practices. Without the first three practices, joy is just another “to-do” item on your list. The first three create the dept in which you can fully express and live in a place of joy. This joy is what others see as authenticity.
So, if you find yourself just going through the motions of the things that should or used to bring you joy, but don’t any more, check in with your practices of honesty, bravery, and perseverance.
And, most importantly, make sure you are actively participating in your life and giving yourself opportunities to experience joy. Think, what was the last thing you did – on purpose – to experience or express joy? I’m not talking about spontaneous moment of unexpected joy. I’m talking about something you did, planned in advance, to feel joy. If you can’t remember the last time you were joyful on purpose, put it in your calendar for this weekend.
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
I’d like to finish with a favorite quote of mine by Maya Angelou…
“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” – Maya Angelou
What I think she is saying is – if you find yourself living in chaos, this is inauthenticity in action. The way to live authentically is through the practice of courage. To practice courage, pay attention to how you are honest with yourself, the kind of psychological bravery you show yourself every day, your commitment to faith and the depth of joy you experience.