I recently wrote about happiness. It was important for me to take some times and break down the essence of happiness while doing my best to attempt to spread it to the people I love.
Such as you, I love you. You’re my best friend. It goes 1) You 2) Jesus 3) Ghosto [my cat] 4) my wife.
Don’t tell Joanie.
After the article, I had a number of people reach out to me and ask about the difference between joy and happiness. What is joy, after all? Isn’t it just like a fuller happiness. It’s like the difference between Prime Rib and a 16-ounce sirloin. Both are delicious, one makes you full.
Joy is a filling, expanded form of happiness. It’s not fleeting.
We need more joy. WAYYYY more joy.
So let’s talk about it.
How about this…
Emotions are fleeting. It’s so easy to walk into the room feeling seven shades of happiness, stub your toe, and then immediately turn in to a rage-filled demon with the mouth of a sailor. I’ve had plenty of good moods ruined by a long stop light or biting into an onion when I SPECIFICALLY ASKED FOR NO ONIONS!
Sure, you can control your attitude and effort. Those are under your control. Which means you have the power to withstand the waves.
But it doesn’t always feel that way. We don’t have the power to control our emotions. Not always. And definitely not without focused training on emotional health and self control.
Otherwise, you’re just shoving your feelings down into a deep part of your stomach and waiting to explode on your 15 year old when you’re supposed to be watching a movie as a family.
As for me…
If I really ask myself, “What is joy?” I’m really not asking for a definition. It’s more of a question about how do I find it? How do I feel it? Where does it come from?
For me, I realize joy is more than an emotion. It’s a part of your physical self. Deeper than a memory or a choice, or even a habit. Joy is an aspect to your identity.
Joy doesn’t mean feeling great.
Or even good, sometimes.
For me, I think joy is far more about how I am, rather than how I feel. I am strong, healthy, safe, and blessed beyond measure. That’s where I find joy.
What is joy? It’s your soul finding piece in itself.
Even in the ashes, you remember you’re a phoenix.
As for us…
It’s not an easy choice to make, though. Finding peace is contested times is often like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s hard to do it on your own, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to do it without intention.
Instead, we can do it together. We can form joy squads, or something. Find relationships that want one another to live a full life. Looking for more than momentary comfort, but rather deep-rooted strength. Those waves are coming, we need good anchors and buoys.
We can look at our circumstances and feel joy if we know how to find it.
- Identify what makes your heart full. Not events, not feelings, not past times. But rather aspects of your life (ahem, your kids) in which you experience joy.
- Don’t ask what is joy, ask where is joy. And then go there.
- Don’t try to do it the you’re in a bad place. Like, ya know, almost all of 2020.
- Build relationships with real, authentic people who want joy too.
- When expression an emotion, don’t use the term “I’m angry.” Since that’s not true. It’s not who you are, it’s how you feel. Use “I feel angry.” And then put the book back on the shelf because you don’t need to waste your joy quota filtering through bad emotions.
- Rinse. Repeat. Spread joy.
Which brings us to resiliency…
I love joy. We want to empower others to experience a joyful life.
Let’s do it together.