I’ve always cringed when someone asked me, ‘Are you happy?’ I would most likely reply with a smile ‘Yes! I’m happy!’… in-part trying to believe it myself, but also to portray the ‘image’ of someone who ‘had it going on’.
I often wondered why I cringed. Was it because I felt the expectation on me that I should be happy? Yes – definitely. But there was more. There was something about this ‘happy’ that didn’t sit well with me. It was as though I, and many others, placed so much emphasis on attaining happiness that it became our sole purpose in life… so we went about looking for it outside of ourselves in whatever way we thought we could get it.
Happiness felt elusive, unattainable – something just out of arm’s reach.
I felt that I was failing at life if I wasn’t ‘happy’. I chased it – and sometimes I felt it – but I could never hang onto it. It would be there for a moment, sometimes for consecutive moments, sometimes for intermittent moments that spread out over a week or two. But it was neither solid nor constant and when it was time to be on my own, I felt flat, bored, empty – anything but happy.
So how and where could I get this ‘happy’ that everyone was talking about? How could I make it permanent?
I had many ideas of where to find this happiness: a career, lots of friends, frequenting the latest bars, cafes and restaurants, being fit, healthy and active, having the latest clothes, being immaculately put together, having the perfect partner, being the perfect daughter, sister, friend, mother, owning a beautiful home… the list goes on. Yet even when I had all of that going on, happiness was not a constant in my life.
In truth, underneath it all, I felt desperately empty. I often wondered what was wrong with me and what I needed to do to fix myself.
About 4 or 5 years ago, a friend of mine I was seeing for support with women’s health mentioned she had started offering Esoteric Healing sessions. She asked if I would be open to having a session with her. I had heard of Esoteric Healing before and had previously had a couple of sessions with another practitioner. I knew immediately that it felt right for me. What I felt in my first session with her was exactly the same as what I had experienced with the other practitioner some years earlier. There were no bells or whistles, just a gentle loveliness… something full and real. My body rested deeply, it was like I had fallen asleep, but I was still very much there.
I liked what was being presented to me so I continued to have sessions. Each session offered me an opportunity to look at how I was living and how I was supporting myself. I was able to feel more of myself and also able to feel the ideals and beliefs I had taken on that weren’t really true to me – i.e. what success looked like (you can bet happiness was part of that picture!), what it was to be a good mother (think the self-sacrificial type that puts her child’s needs above her own), what it was to be a woman… again the list goes on.
With the support of the esoteric modalities over the years I’ve made gradual changes to the way I live and, most importantly, to how I am with myself. I treat myself with respect and care. I listen to my body and its signals. I take time to connect with myself each day. I’m open to what I feel (the good, the bad, the ugly). I love being with me.
I walk down the street feeling the gorgeousness of myself and I live knowing who I am and I aim to stay connected to that at all times. I feel full. I rarely feel that empty feeling that used to plague me – and, if I do, I know that it is because I have disconnected and all I need to do is be honest about where I’m at and reconnect.
So, there I was, feeling pretty awesome and someone asked me ‘Are you happy?’ Lo & behold – I cringed!
The immediate response was, ‘No’… and then, I reacted inside myself.
‘What? Am I still not happy? Of course I am. I feel amazing! How can I not be happy after all of this time! All of these changes! I don’t feel empty… surely I must be happy?!!’ .
And then it occurred to me.
Is happiness really it? Is it possible that we are asking the wrong question?
I knew that the solidness I felt in me was real. I knew that I didn’t feel like I was lacking anything or needing to fill myself. I knew that what I felt in me was something far grander than anything I had tried to attain outside of myself.
What I was able to then feel was that ‘happiness’ is as I had always felt it to be – it is but a fleeting moment. It comes and goes; it is something that we can’t hang on to. Like any other emotion, it is not solid. It is often attached to an event or a hype of some kind.
It feels good in the moment and then it subsides after the fact.
But JOY on the other hand – this I feel.
Joy needs nothing to evoke it. It lives inside of me.
It is there when I am sleeping and it is there when I wake. It is solid and it is constant. It feels confirming of who I am – and I don’t need to do anything except connect to me and be with me to feel it. It is so much more robust than happiness. It fills my body with warmth and when I am connected to it I feel play-full – like I want to express all of me to the world.
Yes indeed, joy feels to me to be where it’s at!
So then – am I happy? No – not always.
But am I joyful? Very much so.
With deep appreciation to Sara Harris, Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine for presenting a way of life that is so simple – yet so grand.
By Brooke Taylor, RTO Academy General Manager, Elwood, Australia
The Difference Between Happiness and Joy
Sacred Esoteric Healing As A Way Of Life
Hello, is it me I’m looking for…?
Happiness means many things to many people we all have our own versions of it. Whereas for me Joy comes from a one unified truth it is an expansion of space that can be felt by everyone and the sense of being held in that space is so yummy it fills our hearts with joy which is not a heightened experience but a feeling of completeness.
This is the illusion we all fall for
‘So how and where could I get this ‘happy’ that everyone was talking about? How could I make it permanent?’
Happiness is like a carrot at the end of the stick we chase the carrot without the understanding that while we are concentrating on it we have left ourselves. And that’s the whole point to get us to be so distracted we forget that everything we have ever wanted is within us.
Aligning to our Soul, Inner-most-heart / Essence brings a Joy-full-ness that is deeply Stilling and eventually brings an understanding of what True appreciation brings to our life because we have focused on our evolution Joy becomes normal and is nothing like being happy.
When there is joy, there’s no need to demonstrate it with a smile, as although it obviously can be expressed physically, it’s much more than that. It’s not what we do, but how we live what allows us to feel its deep settlement and lightness in our life.
Yes what an awesome blog. Happiness is aways a pursuit whist joy – well, joy just is.
” I love being with me.” The joy you feel in being with you inspires others to reconnect to who they are and feel the joy.
Joy lies within always – it doesn’t go away and when I meet another it can take me by surprise as the joy is expanded out into the universe.
How we live and how we move has a big impact on how we are, ‘With the support of the esoteric modalities over the years I’ve made gradual changes to the way I live and, most importantly, to how I am with myself. I treat myself with respect and care. I listen to my body and its signals. I take time to connect with myself each day. I’m open to what I feel (the good, the bad, the ugly). I love being with me.’
Happiness is transitory with highs followed by lows, whereas joy does not fluctuate but is a steady flow of celebrating and feeling who you are on the inside, which is there to be shared with others.
Absolutely Mary, Joy abounds and is deeply stilling in that it becomes our normal way of existence, so much so that we then also understand how appreciation truly works.
It is always important to feel and nominate what we are feeling, we then with this awareness have the choice to change this by how we are living.
Happiness is an ideal. Joy is the real deal that comes with living in connection with our Soul and as such cannot be sold, strived for or attained; it can only be lived. Thus the chase for happiness is a game we set up that keeps us in a forever seeking quest that serves to delay that which truly evolves us.
Absoulutely Liane, Joy brings a forever-deepening appreciation of our Soul-full-ness, which is to truly understand Appreciate-ive-ness.
If you were to ask a few people what happiness meant to them they would all probably give you a different answer. In fact, they would probably give you a different answer each day depending on what they were hoping for that day. This definitely used to be me, that was until I came to understand true joy, something felt in and through every particle of my body, a constant which is dependent only on me and never from anything outside of me or from anyone else.
I would say we fool ourselves, and have ourselves falling into disappointment regularly when we seek to be happy, or wait for the next thing to bring us happiness. Being settled in ourselves and connecting with our inner heart, who we are in essence, brings joy and a foundation that cannot be rocked….happiness is seeking moment, joy is a steady pulse of knowing who you are and your purpose in life.
Seeking happiness feels like seeking something transient, whereas when we live in joy we do not have to seek outside ourselves, its like it is part of us, within us. Happiness ‘ feels good in the moment and then it subsides after the fact.
But JOY on the other hand – this I feel.
Joy needs nothing to evoke it. It lives inside of me.’
Precision can be very wisely used, if imperfection is accepted and lived with, it is precision that can come alive.
The magazines and other media are still selling happiness as the solution for all our woes but it is an endless chase and we will never be satisfied, we will have ups and downs and just like you did, wonder what went wrong. How clever to let everyone seek on the outside so the true answer on the inside is harder to find.
I also cringed about the happiness thing, but more so when someone told me to ‘smile!’ as if I should be walking around with a grin plastered to my face. True joy is a deep settlement and feeling the depth of who we are. The version of happiness and excitement that most of us have bought into or try to seek in life feels superficial and transient relative to living and connecting to the depth of who we are as multi-dimensional beings with access to heavenly wisdom.
Happy is like accepting the turd we call society and painting it bright colours so it’s something that we like. No matter the hue nothing changes the disgusting stench underneath.
Happiness feels unreachable whereas joy is within us, steady and there to be shared with everyone. Such a gift!
I can relate with you Brooke how this belief conditioned me in how I was feeling really from a very young age. Behind the question ‘Are you happy?’ I could feel like there was an expectation that said ‘say yes please’ so I became obedient to that and learnt to hide my truth. In our society it seems like we have to be happy and fine all the time or that feeling sad is a sign of weakness, which may arise discomfort in others. However, when I allow myself to feel sadness or whatever I may be feeling I can see the strenght in honouring me and the love that comes from this choice. Thanks to receiving Esoteric Healing sessions I could re-define my relationship with myself and my body which no longer responds to expectations or pictures about how things should or shouldn’t be. How I really am? Allowing myself the space to respond honestly to this question feels very freeing and truly joyful everytime.
The way you have described happiness here really shows its lack of depth and sustainability, it shows itself as a word that is to be attained but not necessarily a state of being that has true joy at its heart. And this is wonderful to read because I reckon that the more honest we are about words and how they really feel, the more carefully we can choose them.
Being aware of and understanding that we can’t sustain emotions is such a gift. It asks us then to ponder on what is there to feel instead and a whole new feeling emerges. When we really connect to our bodies and to the stillness that is there, there is no high or low in the space felt – simply a warm expansion that feels like a snuggly duvet that is very beholding. Within this there is a gentle joy that has no high or low – it just is. Happiness in this context not only feels false, it simply doesn’t exist.
With so many struggling with their mental health currently it is as if we are made to feel a failure if we are not happy yet it is a fleeting feeling that can then leave us lower than before whereas joy is deep within us just waiting to be expressed.
I used to find happiness rather elusive, a bit like trying to grab quick silver, just when you are sure you’ve got it, it’s off in another direction. It is as you say “neither solid nor constant”, but always shifting and changing shape as it is dependent on someone or something outside of us. In contrast joy is something that bubbles up from within me, I don’t have to try to be joyful and I don’t have to worry about someone else taking it away from me as it’s always mine to connect with.
Joy: ‘It is so much more robust than happiness. It fills my body with warmth and when I am connected to it I feel play-full – like I want to express all of me to the world.’ Something can only feel solid in our body when it comes from inside and it can’t be contained inside it has to be shared with all no matter what others expect of us.
Just looking at the photo with this article reminds me how when we connect and express from our inner hearts, our joy from within just shines and emanates from our cheeks and face.
Yes, Jenny it is just bubbling out of us as this photo is showing, we can only try to hold back the joy from inside; it doesn’t always become a great laugh but it will absolutely be felt through the sparkle in our eyes.
Beautiful Jenny, our face expresses the truth of how we are feeling in such a precise way. We can’t hide anything but the joy and yumminess of knowing how amazing we are is very inspiring to see.
It is amazing what words we use… And how these words are so revealing… Take one of my favourites… Bliss… 🙂
“Are you happy?” The question arises “With what?” Happiness is much less than joy.
Happiness is often an elation from a more mundane moment, yet joy can be experienced in the mundane, in the ordinary parts of life. I was listening to a presentation the other day about how settled we feel, now this was interesting- do we feel content with ourselves or are we constantly seeking stimulation and distraction. This gave me a lot to reflect on.
Happiness feels temporary, transient and small compared to joy. Joy on the other hand feels expansive, steady, consistent and deep. I agree that joy isn’t loud and brash in its expression: there is a quiet gentleness, and a stillness, to joy.
I must admit I don’t wake up in the morning feeling completely joy-full but when I reflect on how my life was ten years ago, I was mostly miserable and I’m certainly not that now. I do feel sad from time to time and I feel a little low on occasions, but a lot of the time I feel a calm stillness that feels good inside. I am being more of me, no longer playing any roles, and that feels so much more natural than how I was before.
Happiness is something like a drug that has to be peddled by the local dealer who is just getting us into a nothing state. So like a drug you “chased it – and sometimes I felt it – but I could never hang onto it. Happi-ness seems to be the opposite to joy, which comes from our Livingness and can always be held onto with no rollercoaster ride.
It’s a beautiful description of the difference between happiness and joy, and how we chase pictures of what happiness is, but when we get there it turns out to be temporary if not completely elusive. All along we have joy within ourselves and it’s just waiting for us to reconnect to it. I liked the bit about joy being there even as we sleep, it’s part of our soul and needs no outer events to produce it.
Once the feeling of joy is experienced we realise that to attain happiness requires such an effort to firstly achieve and then to maintain, in contrast to joy that effortlessly emanates from the loving connection felt from within or with others, the universe and God. The beautiful thing is that we naturally feel joy whenever we are connected to ourselves, and the potential of that is offered in every moment.
“I live knowing who I am and I aim to stay connected to that at all times.” If you’re not connected and living from your innermost truth you will find yourself looking outside of your self and when that is the case “all I need to do is be honest about where I’m at and reconnect.”
Yes, no mention of happiness is needed.
It makes sense that we seek happiness, because in happiness we can still have sadness. Sadness unhealed buried inside that is. Sadness and happiness are the same energy. Joy on the other hand has not an ounce of sadness in it. Hence if we have not dealt with or are not willing to deal with our sadness we cannot feel true joy.
Great observation Joshua. As soon as we recognise sadness to be a reaction to a feeling, a state that is offered to us and we take on, the sooner we can step back and see things for how they truly are; we understand the outplay and no longer feel a victim but empower ourselves to deal with life situations
Fantastic observation, yes the seemingly opposing ends of reaction that do not serve us, which are essentially the same issue, we seek something outside of ourselves and nod not connect within, when we fall into emotions and the drama of life, whether it appears happy or sad. And from my experience, we search for the happiness, but it appears elusive, like it can only last a second, a firework, rather than a steady fire…Also this idea that we deserve to be happy….completely knocks us sideways, because life comes with challenges, and we are here to learn from life, and when we try and seek happiness, we avoid the raw, realness of life and prevent truly healing what is getting in the way of our potential.
Often we can go from one moment to the next seeking the next ‘happy’ point and often these events are when something different to our every day experiences happens, like going on a holiday, going out for dinner etc. I find that in my life now, there is much joy in the every day things I do.
Yes I too am finding more and more joy in the everyday things that I do rather than waiting for something outside of me to make me feel happy for a bit.
“So, there I was, feeling pretty awesome and someone asked me ‘Are you happy?’ Lo & behold – I cringed!” I so know this feeling. When people ask me if I am happy it is like I have to prove I am happy, like they don’t feel the amazingness I feel in my body and I have to show it. This comes from the way we see life collectively as a society where happiness is something that is expressed enthusiastically and loudly which is so different from joy that can be expressed in so many ways, but never is there that drive or push, so we often don’t understand someone really gentle and quiet can be very joyful.
I have experienced this too and agree with you Lieke – happy is like having to prove something to others.
Attending a public event about a year ago and quietly appreciating the inner warmth being felt from being deeply re-connected to the innermost stillness and filled with joy from feeling a connection with other people in the room (without a word being spoken). Out of the blue an inebriated stranger staggered up to me and blurted out ‘are you happy?’
I was amazed to feel the effect of the word in a very different way from the extreme highs (distractions and external excitement) and lows (cold, hollow emptiness) that ‘happy’ used to mean to me. My whole body felt contracted as if recoiling from a bucket of ice cold water being thrown over me. My body showed me very clearly – an instant knowing and awareness of the energetic effect of words upon our system.
It is like the whole of humanity has been sold something that at its core is simply not true and yet it has been promulgated for so long that it has become a part of our lives. Humanity needs to understand the redefinition that is there being offered.
I just read the meaning of joy and the the recordings made by Serge, it becomes obvious that we have been sold a lie, searching for something that is just an emotion, here today gone tomorrow. When joy is something that is innately divine living within everyone of us, a confirmation that developed our trust and does away with self doubt.
There is no elation felt when we reconnect with our true self, for how can there be when we have simply returned to that which we already are? However, there is an aching misery and discontentment that comes with living in separation to this, as there are also wondrous moments of quiet and settlement when we begin to feel again the truth of who we are.
We tend to walk about like robots saying we are ‘happy’ and ‘good’. We parrot off these words but our bodies seem to be devoid of true warmth and consistent pleasure. I feel what you have presented here Brooke is key not just for the pursuit of happiness but for how we settle in all of life for ‘just enough’ when we are designed to live so much more. It’s ok to admit when things aren’t right, as it opens up the door for us to go so much deeper and clear the stuff that bogs us down and makes us behave in crazy ways.
Happiness is always dependent on outside factors – be it a promotion, new car, latest clothes, a piece of jewellery, etc. etc. Joy on the other hand comes from within and brings us together, it doesn’t individualise.
“Happiness felt elusive, unattainable” This really resonated with me and I felt guilty that I could not feel happy as, on the face of it, I had everything in life that should have made me happy. Presentations by Serge Benhayon with Universal Medicine offered me the understanding of the difference between happiness and joy and now I don’t seek anything to bring me happiness as I have reconnected to the joy of sharing the love that I am with others.
it’s like there is an enormous marketing machine behind the very idea of happiness… Designed to keep mankind in a perpetual state of angst and unrequited desire.
The illusion of happiness today has us so preoccupied with the outside world around us and focusing on whether the boxes of our societal expectations are being ticked or not that we do not connect to the joy within and allow that joy to simply be expressed in appreciation of who we are (imperfections included) so we can then further expand our potential.
We waste so much effort chasing the illusion of happiness and feel a failure after a fleeting feeling of it dissipates when all along we can connect to the joy within that sustains us when we choose it.
Thank you Brooke for so lovingly exposing the myth of happiness, I don’t know about Australia but here in England this song “because Im happy’ gets played loads. Every time I hear it I cringe it feels like a real bad bad fake of the real thing all about convincing others that you are happy – putting on a show. Why settle for less when the real thing (joy) is our birth right?
Over the years being inspired by the presentations of Universal Medicine I have discovered that happiness comes only from a doing, a doing that needed continual doing, whereas joy is an emanation from a state of being of who we already are. In seeking happiness, I was constantly striving to achieve, to seek recognition from the world which never did truly fullfill or feel confirming, as underneath it all I felt uneasy and anxious, knowing that this was not really it and always fleeting. When I began to focus on developing a relationship with myself, with the love within me, I discovered a far greater and enriching quality that naturally emanates from within, from my connection to who I already am – the joy of love. A quality that confirms who I am and is ever-present within us all, and it is joy that represents the fullness of who we already are in essence.
Yes indeed what a thing to ask … if people only knew what the energetic content of happiness actually is.
I cringe when I am told to put on a ‘happy face’ (which working full time in hospitality is every day!) the ‘happy face’ often attempts to hide a lot of misery which is always under the surface and noticeable the moment the mask comes off. For me I don’t feel like constantly smiling but that doesn’t mean I am sad or depressed. But rather than reacting to ‘do I fit in the happy box’ I can have, focus on and feel the joy within me. Is this feeling my whole body smiles.
I love the photo connected with this blog as the women in it is exuding pure joy and it immediately connects me with my joy when I look at her. The emanation of joy is very beautiful and much needed in the world.
The difference between being happy and being joyful is huge. Happiness is just a fleeting emotion whereas joy is a steady state of being that gets more and more activated as we connect with those around us.
Happiness is something we experience in moments in response to an outer stimulus. Joy is something that bubbles up from within and that can make us feel as if we want to burst. There is a vast difference.
When I was asked whether I was happy, my usual answer was ‘No’ – but that was probably just as useful as saying ‘yes’, i.e. not very and may have interrupted further conversation than a ‘yes’ would have.
Happiness is a picture and an ideal of a perfect life that people try to obtain. But it’s impossible, life isn’t perfect, we are not perfect. We can have immense joy by connecting to who we are and expressing that – so the Joy factor comes from within while happiness weighs heavily on what is happening on the outside and our circumstances.
Yes, for happiness we have unhappiness but for joy we don’t have unjoy.
Happiness is very overrated and is used to not truly show that what is truly going on in our lives. While Joy is a quality that is long lasting and is coming from living in connection to that which we all have deep inside, our essence.
“It is there when I am sleeping and it is there when I wake. It is solid and it is constant. It feels confirming of who I am” – The joy of feeling who we truly are is priceless, no wonder there has been such an age old effort to try to subvert us from feeling this. When we are with ourselves we are slave to no one.