Are You a Little Weltschmerz?

Even for the most optimistic among us, the events of the past few weeks have been difficult: Social unrest, ideological clashes, political turmoil, nuclear threats, and to top it off, one of the most devastating storms in American history. Any one of these is capable of producing a knot of anxiety. But all of them at once is enough to make you more than a little weltschmerz.

Wait, what? What is weltschmerz? Not exactly a household word, weltschmerz is in fact a useful and appropriate way to describe the state many people are in right now. Coined by the German Romantic writer Jean Paul at the turn of the 19th century, it literally means “world pain” or “world weariness.” The word has been used from time to time to describe the anxiety many feel because of all the troubles in the world.

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What is a Joyful Mind?

When your mind does not need to be right.

When you no longer need to compare yourself with others.

When you no longer need to compete—not even in your own head.

When your mind can be creative, but without needing anyone to know.

When you can live in contentment with whatever the moment offers.

When you do not need to analyze or judge things in or out, positive or negative.

When your mind does not need to be in charge, but can serve the moment with gracious and affirming information.

When your mind follows the intelligent lead of your heart.

When you mind is curious and interested, not suspicious and interrogating.
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