Just as the end of a play cannot happen before the beginning, so is joy conditioned to arise.
It's the natural state of the stable mind: calmness and joy. They cannot exist in a suffocating mind that tries to control the situation -- it's too busy controlling, or planning, or scheming, or (the most intricate stealth technology mind possesses) hiding behind being you. "You" is not a solid structure. It comes from habits, patterns, memories, causes and conditions. This "you" emerges from the cacophony of all these signals. Rarely does this "you" or "I" choose joy over the immediate sweet poison of the next dopamine hit. It's completely automatic, it's like an evolving algorithm that changes in accordance with the data we feed it.
Humans are not computers. We have awarness -- this is out first and only tool to get out of the "simulation". The kind of simulation that makes you run on autopilot, copy others, simulate normality.
So when you pried open the box, learned to stabilize and calm your mind, suddenly simulation and automation are seen and recognized so vividly as an obstacle to the place of innate calm and joy, that "you" is in conflict now. In conflict with itself.
Simulated "I" vs Divine "I" It would be very easy and fast to just get rid of the simulated "I". But there is a catch: it knows it's being assaulted and removed, and fights back with depression, habitual addiction patterns, general contraction and focus on survival.
If someone told you: "Kill yourself to wake up and be happy!", would you do it? Extremely unlikely.
As we see our path then lies in not killing or adding more violence, it foes through a purification process, a transformation, disentanglement.
Remember, there is nothing to kill! Which memories would you like to remove? Which skills or proclivities to take away? And how would you know when to stop?
No, what we do need is a little bit of everything and nothing at all: the mind can only be transformed by the mind itself.
And it will only happen if the mind is willing (motivation), patient, accepting, kind and compassionate to self! Not to the others (yet)! And this process can't start without the vigilant gaze of awarness. I guess that's where mindful self-compassion comes from 😄
Without soft and gentle support of self-compassion all transformations will become self-harm: that's why we see so many people rebounding after dieting or a rehab. The decisions to go on a diet was made from a place of scarcity (I'm not enough). If a decision is made from a place of abundance the journey will still be difficult, but the loving and caring support of one's own heart-mind will help us to succeed and persevere in the long run.
Joy cannot happen before acceptance. Acceptance cannot happen before awareness. Awarness can happen at any moment!
Cherish moments after sits. There is so much awareness and right motivation -- try to see what will happen if you observe and don't follow the simulation.