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Re: Finding Your Joy

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Message 31 of 44

I understand what you are saying. What you describe sounds very much like the Buddhist Enlightment. My understanding of Enlightment is that 1 is responsible for the good & bad in 1s life . You make the the good & the bad things in one's life. It is that realization of that fact that gives Enlightment.

In my life I was already pretty much happy with it but when the cats came into my life it made it even happier. 

By saying 1 is better then the other is wrong. Most people aren't looking the 2nd kind. It takes work to find it & I'm sure you understand that. I have been looking for Enlightment since I was old enough to understand what it means as my Buddhism defines it. I didn't come to that understanding until 8 years ago both on the intellectual and 8 years ago emotional understanding.

To me what these people are saying is quite acceptable & saying what you wrote puts a shadow over what they have said. That what they said isn't good enough. If that isn't the case I'm sorry but all I can go by is what you wrote.

Janet Meeks
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Re: Finding Your Joy

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Message 32 of 44

My life in general, the past 8 years, has been in general happy after a year of being homeless & in shelters before getting our apartment near downtown Los Angeles. But it wasn't until I was able to get 2 male cats, a Brown Tabby named Benji (Ben for short, the 4th 1) & a Blue Russian named Blue (original isn't it?) that I realized that it was they who made me really happy.

I have always had cats in my life. In the last few years before going homeless I had 4 cats. Two past way & the last 2 I lost when we went homeless. My husband & I had to surrender them to a city shelter.

A tradition I had kept because I dearly missed my 1st cat as an adult named Benji was at least 1 cat of every bunch I had was named Ben. Of the 4 Bens I've had 3 became my favorite cat. That has happened with the latest batch.

The last 4 years have been my happiest with them. Their presence, playfulness, love and affection between us and my ability to hold & touch them as well as them climbing on me to be held has given me a happiness that had been sorely lacking in my life not known until I had them back in my life once again. They have given me happiness in my life & I am thankful to them for giving it to me once again.

Janet Meeks
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Re: Finding Your Joy

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Message 33 of 44

After a life of using things for happiness, I found that my true happiness came when I learned to let go of control. I no longer expect anyone to live my way, to think my way or to be what I think they should be. I now live my life with little expectations of anyone, including myself. I only expect to be treated politely, respectfully and honestly. Believe me, as trite as this sounds, it works for me at this stage of my life.

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Re: Finding Your Joy

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Message 34 of 44

What make me happy physically is when i am excercising, walking, or doing water arobics. I also enjoy coloring, listening to smoothe jazz, relaxing, and being around people. Spiritually i enjoy reading the Bible, teaching God's word, listening to gospel music and getting into God's presence. Materially I love window shopping, playing Bingo, talking with people and being with family and friends.

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Re: Finding Your Joy

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Message 35 of 44

PEACE of mind, i am so happy with peace.  I can live in a tent and be happy, i am greatful lfor  peace it passes all understanding.

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Re: Finding Your Joy

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Message 36 of 44

We can usefully distinguish two types of happiness (see a book entitled PRAGMATIC RATIONALISM, F.R. Vivelo, 2013): circumstantial happiness and autochthonal happiness. Most people mistakenly focus on the former. In fact, all the posts in this AARP thread are about circumstantial happiness. This sort of happiness is unreliable because it is contingent on external factors outside the individual’s control—such things as financial security, friends and family, satisfying careers, companionship, etc.; in other words, one’s circumstances (hence the name), thus leading to “unhappiness” when some negative changes occur in those circumstances (such as the death of a loved one or a pet, loss of a job, betrayal by friends, financial losses). But the other type of happiness is not dependent on, or affected by, external circumstances. It consists of thinking only what one wants to think and feeling only what one wants to feel, which are the only things under the individual’s control. This concentration on internal matters under our control leads to peace of mind, tranquility, and absence of pain or disturbance or anxiety, what the ancients called “ataraxia.” The ability to attain ataraxia (autochthonal happiness), an internal state not significantly affected by anything external, whether good or bad, was why the ancients said that the wise person could be happy even while being tortured. That may seem a little extreme, but the point is no one can force us to think anything or feel emotions we don’t choose to think or feel. They can hurt us physically or put us in uncomfortable situations, but they can’t “make” us feel sad or angry or resentful or insulted—or anything else. We can choose not to feel those things and remain ataraxic—that is, maintain our peace of mind—in the face of even the most unpleasant external circumstances. This description is perforce simplified and lacking in detail to be convincing; but any reader who consults the longer account will learn that true happiness is within everyone’s grasp regardless of their external circumstances. In short, we choose to be happy (or to be unhappy): we are responsible for our own happiness, which is an internal state that has nothing to do with the external matters or conditions of our lives.

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Re: Finding Your Joy

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Message 37 of 44

My daily joy is the pup I live with.  Upon awakening I find him staring at me and waiting to "get this party started."  After my husband died,  I was so sad for 3 years  and then I met the new love of  my life and this little dog opened up a world of joy for me again.  Pets have always been a gigantic part of my life so this was just a natural progression for me.

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Re: Finding Your Joy

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Message 38 of 44

After many wonderful years in Brazil I recently moved to Ft. Lauderdale. Due to a mini stroke I no longer drive nor do I know anyone here. What would make me happy is to have friends and companionship.

retep
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Re: Finding Your Joy

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Message 39 of 44

Appreciating nature, the melodies of birds when I awake, the bulbs planted last fall coming up green again.  Taking all the winter clothes out of the closet in preparation for spring and summer.  Sorting through all the old stuff in the attic with a twinge of nostalgia for a time gone by.  Thinking of how I will change my decor from International to Western, anticipating my move to the West.  Thinking of what I will plant in my garden after the house is built.  Knowing there is work to be done, and motivated with thoughts of the house with land all around that my imagination and work will make beautiful. Moving to where my kids will be closer, so we can celebrate as a family together again-- just to know they are not so far away.  These are thoughts that bring me joy! 

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Re: Finding Your Joy

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Message 40 of 44

@al1168 wrote:
What makes you happy in life? Is it the physical, spiritual or the material? What is your purpose left unforfilled?

This is a lovely topic..  

 

I was fortunate to be born a pretty happy easy going person..  lots of things bring me joy and each day brings more opportunities to enjoy life.   Thank you for the post.

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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