Before delving into ways to be joyful, let’s cover some foundational concepts (sorry that sounds like school – definitely not my intention!).
When I speak of joy I am referring to something different than happiness. Yes, there is a difference between joy and happiness. For example, happiness is dependent on something done or said or something transpiring from an external event, such as a compliment from another, winning money, getting an A on a test, etc. Joy is unconditional and internal, coming from a higher perspective. It is a state of being regardless of what is going on. It is quite liberating to realize that we can be joyful no matter what is happening. So, to be clear, the Keys to Joy Blog is about joy; not how to get or do things that will make us happy (although you will find that when you are joyful, you do get and do those things too!). (Occasionally, I may slip and use the word happy just because it is so commonly used in everyday life. But I always mean the definition of joy.)
God. This is a word that has many connotations associated with it. When I refer to God I am talking about…well, it really is a bit difficult to describe. Let’s start off with what I do not mean. I do not mean anything to do with organized religion (although God can certainly be found in and through places of worship); I do not mean an authoritative, vengeful, human-like figure sitting in judgment of mankind.
To me, God, is an all-knowing, all-powerful energy consciousness that is a part of everyone and everything. It is the Creator or Source of everything. We are all connected to this Source. We never lose this connection, although we may not feel it and others may appear to not be connected. We can always strengthen the connection, no matter what. God is forgiving of everyone about everything and knows only love. God is always aware of the Bigger Picture. God can be found anywhere at any time by anyone. God’s will is for us to be joyful and at our full potential.
Why think about and focus on joy? Of course, because it feels good when we are joyful. But, let’s think about this feeling-good concept some more in relation to stuff. Consider this: Everything we do or want is because we think it will make us feel good. It is the feeling that comes with the physical manifestation that is what we are truly seeking. The physical manifestation is not what we are really after. The desired material things and relationships are actually a means to an end. We want what we want because it will make us feel happy, jovial, secure, content or a myriad of other positive emotions. If we start out joyful, we don’t need these things. Not that material things are bad. No, not at all. But the need for them can turn pretty ugly, pretty quickly. I’m no history buff, but I feel safe to say all wars (and fights) break out because of the need for something…money, things, power, status. Now we are getting into the concept of the ego. We’ll save that for next time…