Everyday, I see blog posts, twitter updates, articles, videos, websites, etc. dedicated to finding happiness. We’ve actually begun to place so much pressure on ourselves to find happiness, that we’re making ourselves unhappy.
Happiness is an emotional state, something we feel as a result of some superficial event. Now, I’m not trivializing those things in our life that make us feel good, but rather suggesting that they are fleeting. And, if we’re constantly chasing that feeling, we become happiness tweakers.
Joy, on the other hand, is born of the heart and is always there. We just need to open ourselves up to accepting it into our lives. Seems like a semantic argument, right? Maybe.
“So, wait, are you saying I should wallow in pity, depression and unhappiness?”
Nope. What I’m saying is that we should let the circumstances that come in and out of our lives just be as they are without allowing them to create any type of turbulence — positive OR negative.
Think about a time when you were in a relationship, and you allowed someone’s existence to dictate your happiness. We’ve all done it. Significant other calls = happy. Significant other mistreats us = unhappy.
This relationship dynamic is metaphor for our larger addiction to feeling good due to external influences. I remember seeing a quote that said something to the effect of, “Joy is a condition of spirit that so fills my being, that no amount of happiness or unhappiness can cast it out.”
Still, I’m not saying that you should disregard those things or people in your life that bring you emotional happiness, but bring awareness to your attitude and reaction.
Do you easily get caught up in negativity if something doesn’t quite go your way? Do you allow negative thoughts to occupy your mind, or do you think positively and encourage lovingly rather than acting harshly?
Be mindful of self-judgement when posing these questions. It’s a difficult concept to grasp that Joy exists outside the emotional realm.
“Sometimes your JOY is the source of your
smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your JOY. “
– Thich Nhat Hanh
Happiness and unhappiness are something that we can achieve. Achieve equating with mind, judgement and future. Joy is something that we are, it is presence, it is everywhere.
” The final step in the eight-fold path of Yoga is the attainment of Samadhi. Samadhi means “to bring together, to merge.” In the state of samadhi the body and senses are at rest, as if asleep, yet the faculty of mind and reason are alert, as if awake; one goes beyond consciousness. During samadhi, we realize what it is to be an identity without differences, and how a liberated soul can enjoy pure awareness of this pure identity. The conscious mind drops back into that unconscious oblivion from which it first emerged.” – William Doran.
This is union
This is Joy
Be mindful of how you treat others and yourself. Live a truthul, non-violent existence. Meditate. Just Be.
- Your Charmed Yogi
Photo credit: Lifestyles of Health & Sustainability