Here we are already in December which is advertised as the month of peace and joy. Here are a few thoughts I have about the difference between happiness and joy. Happiness by definition is described as contentment, pleasure and satisfaction. Joy is rejoicing, exhilaration, elation, ecstasy and rapture.
So it sounds to me like there are many things that can make us happy and perhaps those happy things add up to our joy. I do know that there are also those things that appear to make us happy, but they are only temporary. I don’t think there is any problem doing fun happy things, I just don’t want to be distracted and deceived by them so I don’t achieve joy. Joy is attained past and beyond fleeting happiness.
I can go everyday to a park and have fun and find happiness, but that in itself won’t bring me joy. Lasting joy would be to spend those special occasions with loved ones. A lot of advertisements promise us happiness in an attempt to market their products to our basic desires to find happiness. These types of activities are entertaining and fun, but don’t bring lasting joy. So sometimes we feel like we have been tricked, or their products don’t work.
I believe sometimes in those attempts to find happiness we get distracted by the pursuit of happiness and
miss those activities that will actually bring us lasting joy. We can’t be happy all of the time, but I think in the pursuit of those things that bring us continued joy we attain peace.
Funny thing about peace is it usually comes with a price. Wars are fought for peace. Those wars require sacrifice. In our pursuit of joy we come across struggles and challenges. Those struggles and challenges help me to realize what is really important. They help me decide what activities to spend my limited time on. I won’t always be able to do those things that bring joy, but I can more easily identify when those opportunities come.
So thus the cycle continues. We look for ways to be happy. Hopefully without being distracted by what will ultimately bring us lasting joy. When I have had to make decisions about which activity to spend my time on, I frequently evaluate if my choice brings me peace. If I feel that peace I know I have made the right choice.
I am not deceived into thinking that peace will come without paying the price of hard work and sacrifice and making a conscious effort to make good choices, which will make me happy and ultimately help me to attain joy.