Postponing Joy

Remember Wimpy from Popeye cartoons? I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today! That guy knew what he wanted and couldn’t wait to enjoy it, although I’m not entirely sure about the indebting part, but I digress …

Some truths are hard to swallow. Yet is it possible we court death in postponing joy? When you die, says the Koran, God will call upon you to account for all the permitted pleasures you did not enjoy while on earth. From the Talmud, A person will be called upon to account, on Judgment Day, for all the permitted pleasures he might have enjoyed but did not.

I possess a wicked work ethic, and don’t consider it a bad thing. No matter the pressures of daily living, no matter what sticky situation I find myself mired in, I can always source joy through creative expression and participating in nature. If I find myself making excuses or justifications (some indeed compelling), it is important to recognize them for what they are so that I do not delay any longer. If I sense the corners of my mouth are cranked down in frustration or too much concentration, I know it’s time to get out into the garden and/or with the dogs and start smiling again.

Deepening consciousness through whatever avenues requires that I open my eyes to what is around me, to awaken further to how thoughts and desires co-create my life, moment to moment. Perhaps if one were ever mindful of temporality, one would live that much more fully. We could prioritize like never before while dismissing grievances and getting on with engaging ‘best possible self’ more than occasionally.



21 thoughts on “Postponing Joy

  1. Your thoughts resonate with me Bela…joy remains at the top of my list. Little moments of just looking at the colors of Fall or few yellow roses i saw smiling at me yesterday, braving the wind and the changing weather warm the heart beyond measure. Thanks for the reminder, love it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent reminders here Bela, to take that step back, look at ourselves, listen to our inner chatter and do something that brings us joy if we find that chatter or ourselves in those negative moments.. Wonderful advice.. Beautiful photo, and Oh what joy to stand and take in that View.. ❤ Wishing you a beautiful rest of the week..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bela, I so enjoyed this and fully agree. As others have said, thank you for the reminder. We get too serious, anxious, and forget to let go and feel joy more often. (No doubt the cause of much physical pain! We need to relaaax…. 😎😆🤣😍💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dogs, yes, what wonderful exemplars they are of finding joy in the sensory world, away from thought and its narrow, self-absorbed obnubilations. I miss my Nellie. Awareness of temporality, or rather transience, is indeed a powerful tool for the lone seeker after peace, as the orthodox Buddhists have long taught — indeed, one of only three gateways to their posited liberation. It’s a fascinating contemplative practice, leading one to realise that whatever we know, has already died, and that only the unknown-yet-sensed present is truly alive. The dogs, it’s almost as if they know this. H ❤


  5. “Perhaps if one were ever mindful of temporality, one would live that much more fully” – brilliant! This post effectively tells me that we should be “aware.” We should force-plant the seed of awareness until it becomes a part of us: a beautiful flower. If I am smoking a cigarette (not a great example), I should smoke it properly – smoke it the way it should be smoked – inhale – don’t leave any residue of longingness for it – chances are we might treat our next activity with as much involvement and seriousness, never leaving a trail of dependence. “We could prioritize like never before while dismissing grievances and getting on with engaging ‘best possible self’ more than occasionally.” Thanks, Bela 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aloha Mahesh – it’s funny you mention cigarettes. I can’t handle the smoke from any perspective, but I always advised clients to intentionally connect with and enjoy each cigarette instead of thinking oh my god, this is going to kill me, I need to quit and quit now, etc. Yes, quitting was their ultimate goal when they came to see me, but I believed then and believe now that moderating behavior and being intentional about it can resolve compulsions in many people. But then these people are intentionally seekers, those whose lives are focused on connecting with something more profound within in a spiritual sense. There is not the dead-end mentality of many addicts who isolate themselves for whatever reason and feel hopeless on many levels.

      I don’t want to overanalyze your comment, so I’ll stop here. Only to say nothing is simple and everything is! I guess it depends on one’s frame of mind. Sending you warm thoughts from my part of the world to yours ❤

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s