The cultural mantra “be happy” is everywhere. “What makes you happy? Do what makes you happy!”
But I’d love to make a slight change to this. I would like to exchange word “happy” for “joy”.
Happy is that warm, fuzzy, bubble gum feeling that we get from really excellent brownies, puppies,
hitting a great sale, and watching our team win. Happy comes and goes. Happy can be burst like a
bubble. But joy. JOY! Joy is a deep and unshakable undercurrent that survives the ups and downs, and
props you up through the tragedies.
Let’s revisit the previous sentences but insert “joy”: “What brings you joy? Do what feeds your joy.”
MUCH BETTER. Now we’re cultivating a lasting foundation that will sustain us through hard times.
Investing in your joy absolutely involves the little happy things, but it also means investing in the things
that make you an emotionally healthy person. Things like forgiveness, grace, compassion, patience,
humor,and unconditional love. See how all of life’s good things come back to the same concepts? It’s
like it’s all connected.
All those things that we work on in ourselves are the things that combat the dark side of being human.
Hate, selfishness, greed, anger – you know the list. Because the opposite of happy is sad, but the
opposite of joy is misery. Which I think we can all agree is also a more lasting emotion than simple
sadness. It’s SO IMPORTANT to cultivate our joy! It’s misery’s arch nemesis!
Underneath it all how is your joy? Are you miserable? It’s ok if you are. If you are fighting misery you are
1) not alone 2) still capable of finding and feeding your joy in order to restore your reserves. And every
time you feed your joy you get rewarded with a delightful by-product called hope. Hope that every time
you cultivate the things that bring you joy you are getting rid of misery.
So give yourself permission to be joyful! Find your joy and use the crap out of it! Ask for joy every
morning, every night, every time you feel misery creeping in. You’ll be amazing by what you’re answered