What is joy vs. happiness? Joy is happiness, but happiness isn’t always lasting and isn’t internal joy.
The feeling of joy is something you learn in life.
If you go on an experiential retreat, it will only be life changing for you with your active participation. Similarly, internal joy is deep and can only be fully captured with your own recorded real-life experience.
Words on paper just don’t give the meaning of joy, the richness in feeling that it is. Internal joy, brings peace and purpose. No anxiety, worry, or fear.
Written simply on paper, joy is an internal feeling of peace and contentment.
Sometimes joy shows up as an action you take, like you leap For Joy! or you can’t help but smile With Joy.
Those are outward body expressions of the joy that’s already inside you. The happy endorphins can kick in giving you a feeling of being on Cloud 9, but that’s fleeting, celebratory joy.
Internal joy is different.
You can feel joy even when situations aren’t going in the direction you want. That’s where most people get unplugged from their joy. They can rely on their immediate pleasure (vs. painful feelings) based on external circumstances and chasing the next best thing.
It will not give lasting happiness feelings (much beyond the temporary elation effect that wears off), any more than the value of a car appreciating as soon as you drive off the lot.
You know that famous quote passage (written by Alfred D. Souza) that captures the happiness truths in 30 lines long, and starts with:
“We convince ourselves that life will get better after we get married, when we have a baby…”
And ends with… “work like you don’t need money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one’s watching.”
I feel like there should be a recent song made from these wise words that don’t get old, but do get missed.
Where to begin to find joy vs. happiness…
Focusing on growing yourself and letting go where you can’t make changes or they don’t serve you, helps grow your contentment and joy.
No one gets a life instruction manual.
Life just shows you in the every day process, repeating lessons that weren’t recognized the first time, and often end up in disguised self-sabotage setbacks.
Connecting the dots and getting in your awareness, can highlight and allow you to change your patterns with the same unlearned lesson revealed several steps ago. Gratefully, you get second, third, and fourth chances in life’s forgiveness. It’s never too late or too soon.
But getting set in your ways, can put you on an emotional roller coaster, of ups and downs based on circumstances. And you can take the limiting ride as many times as you allow yourself. Until a pain or trial is maybe too much to bear, has reached a tipping point, or you’re forced to find another way.
Relying on those ahead of us, we see all these situations and hardships were designed to help set us up to find joy and a better way up.
I know this because that’s how I lived the first 30 years of my life. Scrambling and learning.
However you made it to an adult, at any age and tipping point, you can choose to grow into your joy and fully get the best from life when you realize it comes from inside you.
It was there all along.
You’re fully equipped to embrace your power over your forever joy vs. happiness that’s fleeting.
My story that may help you find your joy vs. happiness…
Many people don’t start off knowing how to be joyful or peaceful (different than cheerful on the outside or seemingly having it all on paper). Nature and nurture didn’t set up growing up that way. Those were the cards I started life with.
As a young adult, life was happening and busy at times, but underwhelming and too slow at others.
I got used to the flashing “hurry up and wait.”
I wanted whole living, and I was only getting partial living, or at least it felt that way in my early years until I asked questions aloud trying to seek answers from reflection, self-discovery, prayer, and wisdom from others.
So I just kept going. The shift was gradual and happened while I was doing life. Well…isn’t that clever?
I probably would have rolled my eyes back then. Now it’s comical looking back.
My growth came from a desire to see many of my life’s disappointments from a different lens and shift my mindset, where I could control my emotions. I didn’t initially see good things happening (because I chose not to).
I just took action and believed inside me that I could make my life good (beginning with the end in mind). And believed in the possibility of impossibilities despite lack thinking I carried from my past.
…I mean, I never thought I could switch careers in an industry where I had no connections or previous experience. That seemed to me impossible for a twenty something year old I was at the time. But then it happened.
Or that I could go imagine and believe I would be working in another state as a relocation dream to have better work-life-balance.
At the time, these examples sounded like wishful thinking. And then became real.
“ Wow, dreams really can come true,” I thought.
The thing is, I didn’t come up with my dream in my imagination. It was there all along for when I was ready to start thinking about positive growth and adopting in my life.
That sent me to short-term callings, temporary purpose, and destinies (and everyone has their own hidden map if they want to uncover).
Knowing I had a purpose, despite not knowing The Purpose, made me think higher thoughts.
Maybe I have a mission other than the one I’m on?
If I knew back then when I had these questions what I know now, I wouldn’t have spent years over thinking, worrying, fighting with emotional strife, and the smaller things.
I would’ve stayed content in gratitude and joy, despite situations. That’s the difference between joy vs. happiness (joy is internal and happiness is external).
Sadly, some unhealthy people (not you of course), never learn so they live depressed, stuck in their limiting ways, trying to mask the feelings of this moment.
It’s a choice to healthily look in your gut, heart, mind, or spirit for answers. It’s simple, but not easy.
Pick one or all.
Where isn’t as important as knowing you have this power inside you to make things happen that you’re destined for. Your past and recent loss is meant to help propel you into your purpose, that you recognize while you’re joyful inside.
Your next calling and life purpose are already inside you waiting for your maturing readiness, and for your mind-body-feelings to align…
Take the metaphor example of the caterpillar that will one day become a butterfly, but doesn’t know that when its mature, it will fly in the future. There’s no knowledge transfer from past generations. One day on its awakened journey, it just gets the instinctual nudge to wrap itself in a cocoon.
And when the timing is aligned, it has to fight its way out so it can get back in the world. It doesn’t know that it will emerge as a new creature with functional and beautiful wings. It knows it’s running out of room in its current shelter.
On the perfectly timed right day, it then with enough struggle leading up, escapes its temporary home.
As a new creature in the world, it no longer crawls with its previously fascinating but scary body and feet, that its designed purpose traded in for a pair of delicate wings. It’s free to fly around in new purpose, now with new gifts and better natural abilities. The healthy joy is expressed outwardly in its transformed and beautifully designed body.
As a butterfly, it can enjoy all the colorful flowers and nectars that it can reach and flutter to, miles away from its original home where it could have never crawled to before its transformation. And the new creature can now be seen in gardens, providing a new daily joy to people.
You are a maturing butterfly in the making. And you have a different purpose than the one you’re currently in. To unleash your full power, find your joy and balance despite setbacks, so you can get to your next level of growth and whole life.
You won’t get this time back (or a do-over). If you’re not happy with your life, body or it’s keeping you from healthy, daily living, find out how to restore your balance. You got this!
Happy new year!!!
Originally published at https://healthyhappylifesecrets.com on December 31, 2020.