Joy is the Mount Everest of human emotions. Can depth psychology, knowing well the slopes and faults and ridges of our psyche, lead us like a powerful Sherpa guide to the heights of such euphoria?
As if in awe of joy, psychology doesn’t dare say a lot about it. The sublime emotion has spiritual and religious connotations, so it’s a touchy subject for psychology. Mental-health experts can dispense valuable knowledge but we wouldn’t dare take credit for instilling joy. We bow before its mystery and sacredness.
We’re thrilled just to help our clients escape from suffering. We rightfully consider that our intervention has been successful when a client breaks free from emotional pain to find a quiet inner space—a neutral corner of the psyche—from where he or she can begin to flourish.
The best psychology can help people get to the last base camp on the ascent to joy. From there, climbers must proceed by means of their instincts, character, intuition, integrity, courage, willingness to endure hardship, and sense of destiny.
Joy is happiness and meaningfulness and connection and generosity and compassion all rolled into one grand moment. It’s most likely felt when all that is right and good and true about ourselves, and beautiful about life, come gusting into our consciousness. Atop the summit where our colors are unfurled, joy is registered in gratitude and wonder. [Read more…]