Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What brings you happiness and joy?



What makes you happy?

What fills you with joy?  I am not referring to the long walks on the beach, winning the lotto or indulging in feel good juice – but what fills you with joy on the inside?  The type of joy that makes your eyes well up with tears when you think about it?  Many people I talk with seem to just not be that filled with joy but do experience much happiness.  Why does it seem that some people are always filled with joy and others not so much?  What is it that they have that many of us don’t?

What fills you with joy?

For me joy is always inside whether I am feeling happy or sad.  I know, how can I feel both ways at the same time?  There are many things that make me feel happy but only a few things that bring joy every time I think about them – like being alive; or the feeling I get when I think about my wife; or the feeling I get when I think about the day each of my children were born; or how being with my family makes me feel so good inside when I am with them.  

The Difference

Many people confuse happiness and joy as being one in the same.  They are not but both can exist at the same time.  Happiness is the way you feel when you receive material things such as gifts or experience events such as graduation.  However, joy is a gift from God which can be present and experienced during both happy and unhappy times.  Joy is a positive aspect that is bigger than the individual.  There are so many things that make me happy like having a new car, new furniture for my house, an RV, a cruise and many other things.  However the joy inside me doesn’t come from material objects rather it comes from my heart.  Another way to look at it is I am very happy exchanging Christmas gifts with family and friends however I feel much joy in the awareness of what Christmas is really all about – joy is lasting while happiness exists in the moment.  I believe being a joyous person is more than being happy, more than having a feeling of contentment, more than the feeling of gratitude rather joy is the deep feeling and attitude towards life.

Now what?

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” Marianne Williamson. What are you doing to bring joy into your life? A few tips that might help: Choose to Smile; think positive regardless of the situation; be grateful for what you have; practice random acts of kindness; and most importantly enjoy the simple delights that life brings to you.
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