The Difference Between Happiness & Joy

Mindfullness

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There’s a difference between the definition of happiness and the definition of joy. It’s valuable to be aware of this because when things get tough, logic might want you to default to despair, or utter sadness or worse, you might think you have to choose between hardship and joy, or support and separation, or light and dark.

Consciousness is not an either/or equation. It’s about bothness.

The capacity to expand into bothness—the awareness of your joy in all circumstances—is so much of what it means to evolve.

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, wracked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”— AGATHA CHRISTIE

Happiness is like rising bubbles—delightful and inevitably fleeting. Joy is the oxygen—ever present. 

Happiness is always passing through. It can claim your full attention for the ten seconds it takes to swallow a sip of incredible coffee. Or it can stream through your being for weeks on end. But happiness can’t hold the same space as sadness, or anger, or the range of so-called “negative” emotions for very long. This is why it’s transitory.

Joy is the fibre of your Soul. It’s the stuff of your essence. And since you, your Soul, can never be annihilated (yes, that would make you eternal and omnipresent), your access to joy never vanishes. Because joy is so foundational to your true being, every other state or emotion can rest on top of joy, it can accommodate everything.

This means that it’s possible to grieve with your whole heart, and still sense your joy. You can feel rage, and be aware of joy waiting patiently for you to return, and take deep comfort in that.

“You can get fired, dumped, dumped on, and pulled through the eye of a needle, and still feel held by the container of joy—the truth of your existence.”

When you arrive at this awareness (you’ll likely have to go through the wringer to get there), your logical mind is going to be confused.

“I’m going through hell. This is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me…so what’s this mighty warmth I feel within? I must be losing it. I must be in denial. I should get back to misery.”

Stay with the misery. Stay with the mighty warmth emanating from within.

“I’m aching over this loss, so can this aching gratitude in my core be real? Am I betraying my memories? Am I denying my pain?”

Not at all. You’re expanding.

When you see joy beside the agony, you have the keen vision of a Soul warrior.

It has never failed that when I have been through the most heart-breaking passages of my life—betrayal, financial hardship, divorce, dreams dashed—the pain brought me to the floor of my being, and what was there to be found?

The simple joy of being alive. So cosmically basic it’s mind-blowing: the joy to be here, connected, animated, breathing, blessed, resilient, to be broken, to be open, to have what was, what’s left, what’s coming. The joy just to be part of reality.

Happiness. Love it when it comes.

Joy. It’s the love that lasts no matter what.

One Love,

Danielle300

Danielle LaPorte is a member of Oprah’s Super Soul 100, a group who, in Oprah Winfrey’s words, “is uniquely connecting the world together with a spiritual energy that matters.”

She is the creator of The Desire Map series—the book has been translated into ten languages, a day planner system, and online courses that over 250,000 people have tapped into. There are 500+ Desire Map Facilitators running programs in 23 countries.

Her podcast, With Love, Danielle, ranked in iTunes’ Top 10 Wellness category. She’s the author of White Hot Truth: Clarity for keeping it real on your spiritual path, and The Fire Starter Sessions: A guide to creating success on your own terms, which also spun off into a coaching curriculum.

Danielle was a book publicist and publishing consultant, and the executive director of a future-studies think tank, studying trends for the likes of the Pentagon and the World Bank. She now speaks at women’s events about consciousness and heart-intelligence, and is a mother to a teenage son.

Named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes, over 5 million people a month visit DanielleLaPorte.com for her regular #Truthbombs and poetry, and what’s been called “the best place online for kickass spirituality.” Her charities of choice are VDay: a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls; and Tree Sisters setting out to “rapidly accelerate reforestation through Nature-based feminine leadership.”

Marianne Williamson refers to Danielle “as a bright light in the modern priestesshood.” Eve Ensler calls her “a force field of energy, wonder, humour, and love.”

She lives in Vancouver, Canada. You can find her on Instagram @daniellelaporte.

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