Yearend assessments are often the necessary precursor to developing a New Year’s Resolution, so after determining first that I had certainly blown my 2020’s NY Resolution of “Having More Fun This Year!” my next year’s attempt would have to be scaled back a bit to account for our current and near-future situations with the pandemic limitations.
So then I thought well, maybe I could just resolve to “Be Happy” like my zen-cat had ‘suggested’ to me which led to another lengthy analysis on what “Being Happy” actually meant. Was I ever happy in the past or AM I happy now? (Hard to believe I have to ask this but I do.)
What would it take to BE HAPPY? And then of course, that required that I define ‘happiness.’
Doing that brought me to the epitome descriptor of how you recognize HAPPINESS, which I believe to be JOY. And assessing JOY reminded me that somewhere in my many posts, I think I had once tried to do that. Here is that excerpt from January 18, 2020:
“…Emotional and mental pains linger in our lives well beyond dictates of reason and logic—they just do. And since they are often linked to childhood issues, we’ve all been living with them for a very long time. That makes them harder to gauge in terms of their relativity to your overall life functioning.
Joy might be considered similarly relative except it is an even harder scale to gauge than pain might be. Sometimes JOY might be considered as the absence of PAIN, which is a bit sad to not recognize it for its own sake. But yet for many, the absence of PAIN is definitely a JOY, as are other similar circumstances:
- Having sufficient food to eat is a JOY.
- Having a warm, safe and secure home to reside in when the temps are near zero and the snows are swirling, is a JOY.
- Having loving companionship to face a difficult day or night, is a JOY.
- Having your health and enough money to live without hardship, is a JOY.
There are truly delicious events and circumstances that raise our spirits and bring smiles to our faces, and may even erupt into a laugh if we allow it; and without a doubt those are joyful experiences and we can easily recognize them as such.
But to always find some JOY in the less desirable circumstances of our lives or in the smallest of kindnesses that we may receive from others, is to understand the true relativity of our life experience and to celebrate the more joyful moments whenever and wherever we can find them.“
Yes! HAPPINESS and JOY are always close cousins though not necessarily interchangeable, but still intimately related; and happiness represents what I would call a ‘Mindstate’—a way of viewing the world around you—a perspective on LIFE in general. It pertains to how you make sense of your world and how you see yourself interacting within it.
While we might associate both HAPPINESS and JOY to an emotional-body energy expression, I would also declare them dependent first on a mental-body energy prerequisite prior to the emotional-body’s heightened energy frequency. Meaning it has to be first a mindstate perception/recognition before it becomes an outward emotional expression.
So this morning in my journal as I’m hashing about on whether ‘happiness’ is a mental state of mind or an emotional state, I asked myself the question:
“So, am I HAPPY? …Hmm, I’m comfortable, but not joyous, but I do lean toward optimism and enjoying the best aspect of every moment. So I think ‘happiness’ is a scale of enjoyment in the moment and the appreciation of every blessing received; and of the deeply-felt appreciation for moments without some kind of sadness or pain.
In other words, ‘happiness’ is often relative to the situation experienced—but it’s more so an attitude—an outlook—a determination to see the world around you in a certain way no matter how LIFE may actually be treating you.
HAPPINESS is a specific ‘perspective’ on life.
When you know from personal suffering how bad your life experiences can be or how bad it HAS BEEN for you in some way, then you can better appreciate the finer moments of JOY—the better times of love and abundance. It often takes living through the bad times to better appreciate the good ones.
JOY, to me, represents the aspirational high-point of ‘happiness.’ It is the peak experience—the point at which all others pale in comparison. When you know true ‘JOY’, then you know what ‘happiness’ actually ‘feels’ like without asking these stupid questions.
I think that pure JOY itself is rare, but you can have ‘joyful’ moments throughout the day or year. And a few of those are definitely better than none at all.”
So, am I happy?
I think I’m as ‘happy’ as I choose to be at any given moment. And considering all those lesser choices out there, without a doubt, I choose to be HAPPY!