I’ve been reflecting on the words “happiness” and “joy” recently and wondering if there is a difference between the two.
For me, happiness is the fleeting feeling we have when something is pleasurable. It comes and goes, and is depending on the an exterior, passing moment.
Whereas joy is something deeper. It can be cultivated and is not dependent on the external, but rather the internal. I believe joy is always present in a situation if we look for it. That is hard to say in times of Great Suffering, but joy I think encompasses both the light and darkness. It acknowledges suffering, is present in both the good moments and the bad. I don’t think we can be “happy” when we’re suffering, but we can find joy by giving meaning to suffering. It is leading us somewhere, transforming us, and that we will come out of and grow from this time of suffering.
When was the last time you found joy in a moment of darkness?