Happiness vs. Joy
Is there a difference between happiness and joy? They are both positive and desirable feelings, and it could be said, who cares? If you're feeling good, you're feeling good.
There is a subtle but important distinction between the two, however, which can lead to a person being able to consciously make himself or herself feel better.
Happiness is observing or doing something you really like.
Joy is connecting with the source of life within you.
In our materialist culture, selfawareness is said to originate from matter and energy. According to this logic, pleasure must also be material in nature. Needless to say, this is backwards.
Happiness is fleeting. Joy can be continuous. Happiness is dependent upon something or someone outside of yourself. Joy is self-enabling and comes from within.
When you observe or do something that makes you feel happy, what you're feeling is the unrestricted flow of your own life force. In other words, well-being is you feeling you. Because consciousness is nonphysical and language is physical, its hard to find words that express this concept. Well just say that happiness requires effort molding the environment to suit your tastes, or procuring things to play around with whereas joy is effortless.
For instance, you go on vacation to your favorite location. You release all of your worries and cares, and just have a good time. All you're doing is releasing the resistance to the positive energy that is flowing to you and within you at all times. There's nothing inherent in what you're observing or doing that CAUSES you to feel good. You feel good because you stop resisting.
If you could do that in your daily life, there would be no need to go on vacation. Most of us cannot afford to go on vacation the year round, or buy every little thing that strikes our fancy. But there is one thing you can do to feel better, even if your experiences dont remotely resemble the life you want.
You can practice feeling good. Seems weird to say it, but it's true. Most of us practice just the opposite every day. We worry about finances, jobs, health, and relationships The list is a long one. Why we do this, I don't know. I think its just a bad habit. But bad habits can be turned into good habits!
What would happen at work if you found things to feel good about and talked them up with your fellow employees? My bet is that youd soon see people scattering right and left as you entered a room. Youd be regarded as just a little bit loony. For some reason in our society, its more acceptable to complain than it is to appreciate. The tendency to find fault, rather than to appreciate, is what ruins many relationships.
For example, Jill has a boyfriend with seven good qualities and three irritating ones. She has two choices: concentrate on the seven good qualities, or try to change the three bad ones (or just ditch the guy). Jill decides that she really likes this guy and that it doesnt matter that he has some irritating habits. So she concentrates her attention on his good qualities (dont laugh ladies. My wife has been doing that for 28 years). She praises Jacks good qualities, and the more she concentrates on those, the more of those he exhibits when he is around her (Jack might act like a total prick to someone else, but that is the dance of vibrational matching he is doing with the other). The law of 'like attracts like' guarantees that the more Jill focus on Jacks good qualities, the more these qualities show themselves in Jills interaction with him. Soon, Jacks three bad qualities hardly ever appear in Jills relationship.
If Jill is like a lot of people, however, she tries to change Jacks three irritating qualities; she thinks to herself, hes THAT close to being perfect. So on football Sundays she complains that he spends too much time in front of the TV set. After dinner, she hounds him to put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher instead of leaving them out for her to clean up. And she always scolds him for leaving the toilet paper rack empty. But its irritating! Jill cries. How can I get him to change if I dont remind him! In the back of her mind she thinks if he really liked me hed do what I ask. Im not requesting the moon.
Jills idea is that if Jack changes his behavior, she could be a lot happier. All that does is focus her attention on Jacks unwanted characteristics. Jill is not perfect either (sorry ladies) and Jack begins to find fault with her as well. Soon the unacceptable stuff begins to dominate their relationship.
This applies to everything in life. If you want to meet a lot of happy people, find excuses to be happy yourself. The more you resonate to happiness, the more happiness comes to you. Soon you never even rendezvous with any grumps! They might be in the environment, but you never come in contact with them.
It's pretty powerful stuff.
Happiness comes from the outside, joy from within.
It's just an amazing property of the universe that the more you focus on something, the more it appears in your experience. If you need the environment around you to be pleasing in order to be happy, then you better roll up your sleeves and get to work! It's going to be a long, hard road, for there are 6 billion fellow humans who are probably wanting different things than you!
If you can just release the impulse to change the conditions (and people) around you, and instead work to change the conditions within your own being, you will find that inevitably, the environment will change around you to match your desires. It's totally amazing, but true.
How do you practice feeling good? Find little things to appreciate. When you do this, those little things become very big. For example, while driving I try to appreciate the cloud patterns. Or Ill admire the nice looking cars that pass by. If its raining Ill appreciate the fact that I have window wipers, and if its really hot Ill appreciate the air conditioner. It sounds like a tired old bromide, but appreciation always works. It can turn something bad into something good! Remember that theres no inherent goodness or badness in physical objects, or your environment, that forces you to feel bad or good. When you practice appreciation, you are activating your own connection to the life force energy that is all around you.
Joy comes from within, and with an attitude of joy, you are in consort with source energy, and the energy of the universe. You are going with the flow. You are in a state of grace.
When you feel good, you feel God.
Joy is a continuous state of happiness, a continuing state of positive emotion
Happiness is a fleeting thing, brought about by observation of something pleasing.
All of us have the ability to create happiness from within. All it takes is a little practice, by finding excuses to be happy, even if it's only for a few seconds at a time. The more you practice, the easier it gets.
It seems weird to say, 'find excuses to be happy' but many people would rather feel crummy than change old thought and feeling patterns. I know I did. But it helps to know that you can alter the conditions around you in regards to something merely by changing your thoughts and feelings about it. If you have never experienced this, then it might seem fanciful. But if at any time in your life you have ever consciously created something positive for yourself, you know what I am talking about.
We are all at cause over the condition of our lives. We are creating them moment by moment, even if we do not realize we are doing so. If you desire to create a better life, know that the laws of the universe are fully supporting you. All you have to do is change from within, and the environment around you will respond.