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Silver Conversationalist

Joy or Happiness: how do you get there?

I've always thought of happiness as situational. You have a  happiness spike when something good happens ( i. e. new tech toy, a new car, win a game, promotion at work, etc. )    Whereas joy, is almost a state of mind that is intentional, a decision you make. I see joy as being grateful for what you have, regardless of your current situation.

 

Do you agree/disagree?  Christine

Bronze Conversationalist

How interesting @Rhymesometimes . I think I see these exactly the opposite. Happiness for me is a chosen state of mind, often arising from gratitude maintained by equanimity (non-emotional reactivity to external provocations) and with the felt experience quality of grounded, solid inner peace or contentment.

Joy then for me is the unexpected heightening of that sense that more often than not comes from a stimulation or joining with another person -- a shared happiness, if you will. It has a sparkly quality to it.

Silver Conversationalist

@DeahWA , Reread your response, and wanted to add how much I love the word "equanimity."  It sounds similar to proactive vs. reactive.  Is that correct?

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Bronze Conversationalist

That's pretty close I think, @Rhymesometimes altho in a Buddhist approach as I understand it and I'm no expert in it, being proactive can be as damaging as being reactive.  Both take you away from mindful acceptance of "what is" in the moment. Proactive is often rooted in an aversion, trying to get out in front of something so you don't have to feel or deal with a perceived undesirable condition. So proactive has as much judgment in it as reactive does. It's just the flip side. This is a kind of negative motivation, an unacceptance of reality, an attachment to avoidance.

 

Equanimity is more like detachment vs attachment.  It's a kind of recognition of reality without an emotional charge to it.

 

Essentially, equanimity is a "being" rather than a "doing".  Both proactive and reactive are "doings".
 

Eastern philosophy is a brain twist. LOL. I don't know if all that above makes sense.  😉

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Silver Conversationalist

@DeahWA , Impressive response!  I've all for more sparkly quality moments.  Christine

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Periodic Contributor

joy is almost always reflected in another's eyes.   

Silver Conversationalist

@JanetA764590 , Great response!

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Periodic Contributor

with age, I often wonder what the purpose is now....so little time left, after all.  my conclusion is three things..

 

seek joy.

do a little good in life.

be at peace with death.

 

 

Bronze Conversationalist

@JanetA764590 Oh yes, especially the being at peace with death. I have a friend /colleague who has hosted Death Cafes for a while, to help people talk about dying and grieving.

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I have had to get through the death of my dearest friend for 36 years, husband having two surgeries, and caring for my only sister as she died, all within an 18 month period.  What saved me was  Lake Erie and the spiritual connection I feel to a Higher Power just over the horizon.  My husband is not a refuge, but it is what it is.   I kept in contact with what few girlfriends I have left and make the effort to nourish the relationships I still have.  girlfriends are precious.  I have never laughed as hard with a man as I have with my girlfriends.  

death is a part of the cycle.  all living things die eventually.  the problem with living long is that others don't.  if you live long enough, you end up. alone.   that is why we must seek joy as much as possible.  

doing a little good in life can give value, makes the spirit "right".  even the smallest thing;  I pick up litter off the beach as I walk it.  

 

I cannot believe death is a bad thing or to be feared.  It is part of the cycle of life, after all.

 

I do not subscribe to a specific  doctrine.  I cannot believe any one religion is IT.  every culture has a "god".....Jesus or Buddha or Mohamed or whatever a particular culture calls the Higher Power......what I call the HP.  God is a short word for "good"....

kind, compassionate people, regardless of "religion".  There are kind compassionate Christians, jews, muslims, etc.  Its about what is in your heart.   

 

It has been almost two years now since death and illness changed my life.  some days are better than others, but there is nothing to do but carry on and trust that the HP will guide you.  I used to pray (on the beach) for specific things I wanted to happen.  I now just pray to be shown the way I should go, to be guided through whatever happens.

 

here is a poem I wrote when my world was blown to dust:

 

dearest friend dying fast.

only sister dying slow.

this is what happens

if you life long enough.

standing barefoot in the tide line,

each and every wave, 

every breath,

receding  the sand beneath your toes.

this is what growing old feels like;

the very ground your standing on

slipping away with every wave, 

every breath.

a glorious sunset  to eternity.

 

Seek joy.

Do a little good.

Be at peace with death.

 

 

 

     

Bronze Conversationalist

Hello @JanetA764590. Your poem and story here resonate with me a lot, thank you for sharing them. I agree with you so much -- loss is heartbreaking but can also be instructive, and there are so many kinds of losses that we face throughout life. I especially resonate with your imagery of the tidal washing the sand, the groundedness from beneath us as a metaphor for aging. Beautiful, brilliant.

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Silver Conversationalist

@JanetA764590 , Breathtakingly beautiful poem! Very powerful.  Especially love  the last three lines.  Seeking joy and having peace with death, while doing good in the world is a wonderful healthy philosophy. I am so sorry for all of your losses in such a brief time.  You're absolutely right, a  few close girlfriends are priceless.  

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