What is the difference between being happy, having joy, and a fullness of joy? People talk about being happy all the time and teaching ways to be happy. It is all over the place and there is a lot to read. But I found a problem…I can do all of those things out there that they are teaching about being happy, but why do I still feel dead inside? Is this because I am missing joy? Are we using these words interchangeably or is there a difference between being happy and having joy?

Here is what I sat down and decided for myself:

Happiness: I would consider myself a happy person, an optimist, seeing the glass half full. I think being “happy” is a choice and is all about your perspective. This is something we can choose and change in ourselves with work. This can be a choice.

We are either born with a natural tendency to think positive or negative. For some, born with thinking positive this is not such a hard choice. For others born with a more negative outlook on life it is a bit tougher. You can work on changing: negative self talk, and seeing life, situations, and people in a negative light. Using positive mantras and especially saying the opposite of the negative you are thinking or saying. Practicing positive mindfulness, is the key. This is a skill you can teach your self, even if you are not born with it. The first step is to recognize it in yourself. Catch the negative self talk and judgements in your head.

We can choose to be happy to matter our circumstances, being happy to me is more outward. Where are joy in more inward.

Here is the example in my head

You are a teacher and you give all the kids in the class a candy bar. I as the kid can choose to be happy to have a candy bar even though I do not like chocolate. I can be grateful for the candy bar and the thoughtfulness and sacrifice of the teacher. But that candy bar might not bring me Joy like other kids who love chocolate. What might bring me joy is a soda, but I am happy with the candy bar.

This is a very basic example but applied to each of our lives it does the same thing. You can have this positive, grateful outlook on life no matter the circumstances. You can be content and be happy smiling people. We can all gain this perspective and see the world and our life as positive. But feeling alive, excited and fulfilled inside is where joy comes in. And this, like the example above, is individual for each person.

Finding Joy is a PERSONAL journey

Another kid in the classroom might like fruit candy, or another cookies. My point is that Joy is an individual thing. To touch a person inside is going to be different because we are all beautiful individuals! It is very different on what brings me joy vs what brings you joy. It is internal for each person on what brings us excitement. What makes you come alive, feel fulfilled is going to be just for you.

This is because our JOY leads us to our purpose and destiny in life

If you do things in life that make you excited, energized almost like it is from another source, and alive is the path you need to follow. It will bring you to your destiny and purpose of why you are here. Your purpose is uniquely made for just you, finding and following YOUR Joy is what will bring you to it. When you are fulfilling these things on this path abundance is then drawn to you.

“Men are that they might have joy”

That is it. This is our main purpose! If you do not have joy, you are missing the mark. I can choose to be happy in spite of my circumstances and be grateful for my life. But if internally I am not seeking what brings me joy I will feel dead inside. If I am living what brings others joy, I will feel dead. Or if I am running my life based off of what others say, want or think is right, I will feel dead inside.

Do not focus your career on money, status, respect, responsibility, or because it is what your parents wanted. You will never find abundance or joy this way.

This is what it feels like to be ALIVE but not LIVING, you are the walking dead

How do you find your joy? In order to thrive in life you have to find what brings YOU JOY INSIDE. Is there something makes you excited? What gives you energy that seems to come from a different source other than food or things of this realm? What do you love to do for you, or in your free time? A wise person once said:

“Do what you love and then find a way to make money doing it”

Really, I think the money part will come naturally, but you get the point. Do what brings you joy. When you come to a point of following your joy, you will find who you truly are: your true and authentic self. You find a place where you are at peace with who you are. You will feel joy inside. Have you ever asked yourself the question: Do I fully love and accept myself? When you are fulfilling your destiny you will become one with yourself, accept the whole you and then you will receive a Fullness of Joy.

What is this Fullness of Joy?

This is a space you enter that no matter what you are doing you have Joy doing it. All that pee you clean off the toilets, the floors your scrub and the garbage you pick up, you have Joy doing it. It is no longer about finding yourself and your Joy because that is complete. It is about being Joy.

This Joy man or world can take from you. It is eternal. It is salvation. Now that you have become one with yourself, you can then become one with another. Jesus said: In ME your Joy is full. His spirit fills us with Joy, it overcomes our natural frames, it is His presence bringing your Joy to a Fullness. Receiving Him, walking and talking with God through your day and becoming one with Him- who wouldn’t be happy cleaning that pee off toilets if it was with Jesus!?

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