Saturday, March 28, 2009


“Joy and happiness are not the same thing. Joy is an internal process grounded in knowledge of spiritual truth, the ability to trust the wisdom of the Divine, and faith in the perfect and perfecting process of life. Happiness is generally a mental and emotional response to temporary external stimulation, in response to a perceived need. Joy is a state of being. . . Joy, because it is grounded in the spirit, has a more far-reaching and lasting impact. Happiness, which is more often than not based on something physical and tangible, can come and go, moment to moment.

“Joy stays with you no matter where you are and what is going on. Happiness is a response to where you are and what happens to you while you are there. Joy is the knowledge of unconditional love. Happiness is the quest for temporary pleasure. Can you have joy without happiness? No. Can you have happiness without joy? For a brief time, yes. Can joy lead to happiness? Almost always does. Can happiness lead to joy? Absolutely not! Whenever your state of being is dependent on external factors, it is temporary and not joyous.

“Does it mean you will never again experience a moment of fear, doubt, shame, guilt, anger or loneliness? Absolutely not! It means that when you are challenged by these pesky little varmints, what you know will shake you, slap you, rise to the surface and remind you that there is a strength in you that nothing and no one can take. Your strength will become your guidance, your protection and your salvation. Joy is the willingness to keep moving no matter what. . . Joy is . . . accepting and acknowledging that you are a creative being on a divine journey . . .

“It can be quite challenging to remain happy when we face the unknown, unexpected, unplanned events of life. This is why we must develop a sense of inner joy. . . Joy is a state of being fulfilled simply because you are alive. The difference between joy and happiness may seem like a very small thing, but when the wolves start chasing you, it can make a very big difference in whether you get away or if you are eaten up.”

from One Day My Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant

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