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Circumstances do NOT Determine Our Joy
Happiness Vs. Joy
His agonised face pulls at my heartstrings as he teeters across the room.
My dear, sweet, almost always healthy husband is unmistakably in pain.
After several home remedies, daily prayers, affirmations, and a visit to a natural pathic doctor, my husband finally decided that he needed something more to alleviate his ongoing pain.
He is now on antibiotics. We are ever so hopeful that will be enough to bring him back to a healthy state.
How Do I ‘We’ Hold Joy When Our Outer Circumstances Are Anything but Joyful?
As you know, I’m in the process of writing a joy book. Well friend, here’s what’s happened thus far during my joy writing process - My Lahaina neighbors suffered a major fire, my friend’s husband had a close brush with death, and now my husband is sick.
Yet, onward I joyfully march.
First, it comes down to understanding the difference between happiness and joy.
The Difference Between Happiness and Joy
My definition of happiness vs. joy is simply that happiness is external, a pleasing moment from a circumstantial event, and short-lived. Whereby joy is an internal, peaceful contentment, a satisfaction of the heart, and enduring.
For example, you may derive happiness from a phone call from a good friend, a great meal, a party, landing that job you wanted, etc.
However joy, on the other hand, grows from self-love, deep care for others, a spiritual connection, gratitude, and an expansion of your talents.
(Note: Would you like to hear more about happiness vs. joy? I’d love your opinion as I continue with my joy book.)
Second, Joy is an Inside Vow
I’ve come to the understanding from my own life and the life of those I mentor that joy is something one chooses.
Yep, it’s true. One can choose joy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that you just say, I’m now joyful. And bingo you are joyful.
Nope, it doesn’t work quite like that.
Still, joy can be had. You can, even under unwanted circumstances, obtain and maintain your joy.
But first, it’s imperative that you make a vow to yourself that you will be a joyous person, whatever it takes. Or as my Mom would eloquently put it, “Come hell or high water.”
When my first husband died suddenly, I decided that I would, somehow, get better. I put all my focus on getting better. That is to say, I chose to live and keep on living and learning and loving. I was determined to feel good again. It was that very simple desire to get better that started my search for happiness, and ultimately for joy.
With regards to my now husband’s unwanted condition…
Yes, I feel sadness for my husband but because I made a vow many years ago to feel good, I have grown within myself a reserve of joy. My joy doesn’t go away!
My joy sits like a still small lake inside my heart - peaceful and calm.
Of course, I want my sweet Love to feel better -yet my serenity, love and contentment are solid inside of me and gratitude for my life washes over me.
Choose joy as often as you can. “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen.
Inner Joy Compass Prompt:
Let’s get started on joy, shall we?
A beautiful way to expand on your joy is to up your gratitude.
So, on that note…
I will appreciate something about myself that I haven’t given much appreciation to, which is __________________.
I will up my gratitude by appreciating more about (someone you love) ________________.
I will appreciate my day-to-day life more. Therefore, to show this appreciation each day I will _____________________.
To appreciate the earth more, I will_________________.
To further my appreciation, I will stretch and begin appreciating_________________.
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” Willie Nelson
May you embrace your joy daily.
I appreciate you.
With all my love,
P.S. More to come on joy…