The Book of Joy

|joyI enjoy reading.  Quite often I seek out books that have health education or a spiritual element to them rather than entertaining fiction.  That’s not to say that I don’t read fiction.  I do.  But I love the sense of motivation and inspiration I get from reading a book written by someone who’s been through hardship and come out on the other side.  Reading such books reminds me of how good life is and how grateful I am for the life I have.

I just read a great book by two amazing and inspiring personalities…the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  The book is called “The Book of Joy”.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from cover to cover.  At the end I was in a great frame of mind and had refreshed my positive approach to each day.

A few lines I copied from the book that really resonated with me are as follows:

There is a Tibetan saying:  “It is actually the painful experiences that shine the light on the nature of happiness.  They do this by bringing joyful experiences into sharp relief.”

Desmond Tutu said:  “Suffering can either embitter us or ennoble us.  If we find meaning in our suffering it ennobles us.”

“In order for us to grow in spirit we have to undergo, in some way, a diminishing, a frustration.  Very few lives are smooth from beginning to end.”

“Put yourself in the shoes of others.”

Like exercising your muscles to be stronger…we grow kindness when it is tested.

“Suffering gives rise to compassion for all others who are suffering.”

Sorrow happens to all people, not just to you, and not because you did anything wrong.  Tolerance and acceptance are essential.

I think it was Desmond Tutu who said the hardship he endured was “part of his curriculum.”  I look upon my Multiple Sclerosis as part of my story.  It’s an element of my life and I learn to live with it and make the best of it because it is “part of MY curriculum.”

“Illness is one of the most common sources of suffering and adversity that people face and yet people can find meaning and spiritual growth in it.  It’s the most common motivation for people to re-evaluate and transform their lives.”  This is a statement from the book that totally resonates with me.  I believe it in my heart that I am happier and more grateful now living with MS than any other time in my life.  It has made me “stop and smell the roses”.    It made me change my lifestyle habits to more health promoting and my attitude to a more positive, forgiving, grateful way of thinking.

Those are a few of the many lessons in this book.  As I said, when I finished reading it I felt lifted up.  I felt more grateful and more joyful.  I recommend this book to all of you.  It’s just a delightful book about these two powerful personalities meeting for a week of discussions on joy and how they found it espite all of the hardships they both experienced in their lives.

Very uplifting.

My glass is half full.  Life is good.





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