Joy or Happy?
Joy or Happy. What’s the difference?
Is there a difference? Most think that happy is related to what we want. When our desires are met we become happy. When your team wins that game, or when you get a raise at work you become happy. When our desires go the other direction we become unhappy. When we lose our keys, when we get demoted or our team goes down in flames. Then we become unhappy. It all revolves around our desire. What we want and don’t want.
But is joy like that?
Most think no. They maintain that joy is not connected to our desire however they also note that it usually only occurs when we are calm. Very calm. Most of the sages also say that joy cannot be bossed around. It comes when it is ready, not usually when we want it. While we can’t force a joyful state we can increase the chances of it coming by simply getting calm.
Think about your own joy. When does it come? When does it go? Are there days, weeks or years when you have more than others? Here’s an idea. Get a clean sheet of paper and make a graph with one end being your birth and the other end your present. Draw a line between the two that represents the amount of joy over your life. How does the line curve? Where are the high periods? What was happening? Does it give you any clues about what brings you joy?
Tom Golden is the author or three books, Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing, The Way Men Heal, and Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons: UnderStanding the Unique World of Boys. Tom was the creator of the youtube channel Men Are Good and served as the vice chairman of the Maryland Commission for Men’s Health. He has been a therapist in private practice for over 30 years.