Joy and Happiness

I believe Joy might be greater than happiness. While happiness usually has particular circumstances i.e. you got the job or love was returned, joy is the soul’s territory. Both are pure grace.

Phrases posted on Facebook, August 2023

One response to the difference between happiness and joy pointed out that joy is a constant, but most of us do not experience it as such. We have to cultivate a relationship to it to realize that it can grow to always be present in our lives.

Happiness is something built. We plan a wonderful party. We work towards a goal and achieve it. We take care of loved ones. Joy is not built. It’s organic. It simply “is” embedded in the life force. The more we honor it, the more it grows.

Someone wondered if it was C.S. Lewis who talked about being strong enough for joy? It does take capacity, doesn’t it? It takes inner strength to be receptive and to detach from comfortable, old habits of complaint and misery. Joy wants the all of us, not little snippets.

I’ve always thought that joy is like a laser beam reaching out to what is not yet joy and seeking to enfold whatever of separation we experience, courting it back into belonging. It’s good to wonder where we are holdouts. It’s good to be retrieved into the laser light of joy.

The capacity for both happiness and joy is the fuel in our life force. When we turn towards serving life itself it seems that both happiness and joy begin to arrive exactly where we are.

Contentment and happiness show up in realized minutes of being fully alive. I don’t think we really know something until we know that we know. When the next sweet moment comes into your life make sure to claim and savor it as pure gift. The more often such gifts are realized and received, the more seem to come. To them that have more shall be given.

Remember a moment of real joy in your life. Was it about accomplishing something?
Was it about love found and reciprocated? Was it about a longed for healing? Or was it as simple as seeing your child asleep cuddling a stuffed bear? Joy is so powerful it can inhabit any ordinary moment.

Gloom and doom are the regulars in a lot of conversations. What if we kept a secret joy journal making one entry a day? When awareness of joy is an ingrained habit we will notice the uncountable nuances and appearances it has. It’s called being rich in what matters.

Since mulling the subject of joy I’ve tried to think of what has given me the most joy in my life. I can’t choose. I just can’t leave anything out. If I recall something splendid another joy is on its heels. Could it be that joy is bundled and we need to take it all?

Experience proves that when we find ways to share our joy and happiness it is infectious. Those around us catch it. Is there a cure? It is more of the same, isn’t it?

The more of compassionate acceptance of suffering we live, the more a quiet indomitable joy will radiate from us. What a paradox that suffering can lead to joy.

From the beginning joy was embedded in us as our birthright. Could it be that one of our deepest purposes in life is to discover how it is in every cell of our bodies and in every aspect of our lives and being? What a gorgeous task to have!

When I look at the beautiful faces depicted in statues of the Buddha I think their mysterious half smiles are joy having its way with them. Sitting still with equanimity perhaps we shall smile that way, too.

Joy is a sign of the spirit. It is a gift that lies deeper than any sorrow we might have and so will surprise us again and again. Inclusive and vast it brings us life and hope.