Recent research in the field of neuroscience is showing how critical the connection is between mother and child, particularly in the first two years of life.
Imagine for a moment a scene which is so awesome it draws you in like few others can. It's a magical moment.
A 6 month old baby is lying on her back and mom is bending over the baby and looking into her eyes and coo chi cooing.
Whenever mom coos, baby breaks out into an amazing laugh that is infectious. If you are in the same room you cannot help but stop what you are doing and engage in this little ritual. NEURO-CHEMICAL SYNCHRONIZATION
Neuroscientists are learning that during this time of intense synchronization between mother and child that their actual neurochemistry
is being synchronized. Mom's brain chemistry and baby's brain chemistry are matching up. Not only that, but the baby is making new neural connections within it's brain, making new connections and eliminating others, so as to be better able to sync the next time this behaviour is experienced.
In this particular case the baby is rewiring the brain to experience joy. After a while mom will determine that the joy part is finished and will then gently help the baby settle. The baby is again intimately connected and is learning and wiring to find peace. This pattern is repeated throughout the first two years of life as the baby's brain is developing.
GETTING BACK TO JOY...
As I was reviewing this research I was thinking about how as adults we often get stuck in un-resourceful states and don't know how to get back to joy. We hang out in negative emotions longer than we want to.
In 2 Corinthians I noticed how Paul related that he was enduring many hardships.
"Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distress; in beatings, imprisonment and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger..." 2 Corinthians 6:4
Sometimes we feel like Paul felt. We feel the weight of the world and become angry, sad, fearful or distressed.
So how do we get back to the joy state that so eludes us?
How do we get back to the brain chemistry of joy that the baby had when she was synchronizing with her mother?
We need someone to synchronize with. Someone that will meet us in the state that we are in and help to draw us out.
Someone that has the relational resources to return to joy.
Someone that will be glad to be with us even when we are not fun to be around.
Hopefully you have someone like that in your life.
In Paul's case God had sent Titus to comfort him and help to bring him back to joy. He also had Jesus, but let's get back to Titus first.
"For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn, conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus..." 2 Corinthians 7:5
God sent Titus to Paul and he encouraged him and brought him back to a joy state.
"...I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds." 2 Cor.7:4
Paul constantly looks to Jesus for comfort.
"We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus can also be revealed in our body." 2 Corinthians 4:10
If we are to model Paul, we can look to Jesus and to friends for help in getting back to joy.
In my morning time the other day I was thinking about all this stuff and a thought came to mind.
We are to be like infants and let Jesus coo chi coo chi coo us back to joy!
One night this past week I woke up at 2 in the morning and started thinking about all kinds of things which started to stress me out.
Does this ever happen to you?
Perhaps you didn't do your brain dump in the back of the Warrior Way so you have all this stuff floating around and causing worry.
That is definitely the wrong kind of brain chemistry going on there!
I know that waking up Marie is not an option (that would make two people in lack of joy states!) Marie is glad to be with me, just not at 2 in the morning. So I thought to myself, 'Self, let's try something different here. Let's look in the face of Jesus and synchronize with Jesus. After a little bit of training and trial and error, the worry started to dissipate and joy started to infiltrate. This may sound a little weird, and it is, but the fact remains that the Bible says that as believers, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, is in us. He is already there, establishing a relationship with us and waiting on us to engage.
What an amazing promise!
So there you go. A new strategy from getting out of any un-resourceful state that comes along.
Look in the eyes of Jesus and synchronize with Him. Allow Him to help you to return to joy.
PS - Let me know what you think in the comments section. How are you going to GET IN SYNC with JOY?