Are Duty and Joy hand-in-hand in Your Relationship?

April 16, 2007

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.

I awoke and saw that life was duty.

I acted and behold, duty was joy!”

           Rabindranath Tagore 

How simple this looks…

How profound this is…

And yet how challenging it is to change what might seem like a duty, into an act of joy… 

What if instead of just sleeping and dreaming that life was joy, we actually dream while we are awake…vision ourselves as full of joy and our life and relationships being joyful. I was working with a couple this morning and we were doing a visioning exercise of them in 10 years time and how they wanted their relationships to be…the most difficult thing they found was to allow themselves to see themselves as having what they want…they struggled to allow themselves to feel the wonderful emotions that went with it…but once they allowed themselves to feel it they could see what they needed to do in the present to make that first step towards achieving the future they wanted. 

When I was a young teenager, my older cousin had a sports car and I said to myself I was going to have a sports car one day…well I did get my sports car but not until I was in my early 50s because many duties and life happened and I forgot to hold on to my dream…I let it go…then when I was more able to receive joy…I got my car. 

How much do you love yourself…I believe that’s what it takes to have a joyful life…to love yourself enough to do the everyday acts with love and find joy. That’s not to love yourself and exclude others but to include others. It took me a long time to love myself…I always acted as if others were more important than me but wanted them to do the same – act as if I was important. It wasn’t until I saw myself as important that others did! When I started doing things joyfully…life be came joy. I still get the challenges but I approach them differently.

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