Ever wonder what the difference is between joy and happiness? Before today I would have told you they are pretty much the same. I have come to learn this is not so. A friend recommended a book called “Something More” by Sarah Ban Breathnach. She is also the author of “Simple Abundance.” Both books are a look into both why we have not obtained what we long for and how to set on the right path to contentment and joy. I read Simple Abundance years ago. I grew from her book but still I longed for my purpose and the elusive feeling of something more. As I started reading “Something More” the AHH HA! moments came flooding through in only the first 20 pages. As I approached page 18 this paragraph resonated with me. “Many of us confuse happiness and joy. Happiness is often triggered by external events, events we usually have no control over–you get the promotion, he loves you back, they approve your mortgage application. Happiness camouflages a lot of fears. But joy is the absence of fear. Joy is your soul’s knowledge that if you don’t get the promotion, keep the relationship, or buy the house, it’s because you weren’t meant to. You are meant to have something better, something richer, something deeper. Something more.” Sarah Ban Breathnach. That’s it! Joy is simply the absence of fear of what is to come. This is the lesson I keep coming back to over and over again. I believe it is God’s way of bringing me back to where he needs me to be to continue walking forward. I have had happiness in my life but when I look back happiness is fleeting. What you have are happy moments. But how many of us really get to experience true joy. Don’t get me wrong I am all for happiness but I think if you can achieve joy you automatically have happiness.
I still struggle with my weight and maybe I am not meant to be thin. Maybe my purpose needs me to be where I am. I am loved and I do love. My fear is becoming less but is still there. Since starting this book I get up in the morning and make a one decision and complete one small task that brings me one step closer to where I want to be. At the end of the day my head hits the pillow and I feel more at peace.
I will leave you with this thought. I received a call October 15, 2015 from my love. He called to tell me that his brother-in-law’s father died suddenly in Serbia. This brought me right back to 4/1/08 when I lost Richie suddenly and 6/30/86 when I lost my dad suddenly. I called my love’s sister to offer my sympathy and any advice I could give when dealing with another country. I felt helpless as I know the grief the family is feeling cannot be taken away. It reminded me that none of us knows when our last day is so we really owe it to ourselves to make each day count. We need to strive for Joy and Happiness will follow.