Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. Marianne Williamson
The Happiness Lie
The lie that strings me along says I must accomplish happiness. Yet happiness is something I have been seeking for my entire life, yet I have fallen short. Because happiness isn’t something I experience every day, or week or even month, but joy on the other hand. Well, I have sprinkles of joy sometimes each day or if I am open several times a day or intermittently throughout the week. Joy appears out of the blue and I don’t even have to go looking for it.
This happiness that society says if I don’t attain, tells me I have failed at life. For every year, most things consumed, events, people/children or holidays will bring me closer to happiness. Yet as time passes, life has taught me happiness is something that has to be achieved. Whereas joy is something I can experience without effort.
The Truth Behind Joy
Joy only happens when I am completely immersed inside of this moment. I have discovered this magic inside of the practice of Yoga, within in my breath, and movement of my body.
In moments I can find stillness and sometimes I even feel authentic joy. Maybe for a moment or two or even occasionally for an entire yoga class, I lose myself and all falsities fall away. Find free online Yoga classes HERE!
Yet I will lose joy when I am trying to find it. As I seek the false pursuit of happiness I am left empty-handed.
Happiness as a Childhood Memory or a Facade?
Childhood memories slide by like a social media feed. Liking, or thumbing down, friending, unfriending, even blocking to mask the darkness. Here live the black holes making my inner child curl into a ball sobbing myself to sleep. And the more I fixate on a specific memory the more it appears, or the more like memories keep filling the pit of my gut. When I seek for the happy moments of my childhood I must dig deep, because this mind of mind likes to hold on to the old hurts. This happens so vividly and as I believe in the mind and body connection I get a physical response whether it’s that scorching burning in my heart or a pinging up my throat.
As a little girl dreaming the dream of ultimate happiness by finding my true love and then settling down and having babies. Only marriage and babies give a false sense of happiness. Yes I have experienced happy moments but the real raw truth is happiness is not my natural state. There is the real life moments that are so far from happy I couldn’t catch them if I was piloting a jet.
As a mother and a wife of seventeen years when I can find stillness in my mind and be present there is joy.
Writing to Heal the Lies of Happiness
Last summer I felt called to begin healing my past wounds and the lies I grew up on in the form of writing. Writing has been this healing outlet I never knew existed. Until I bought my first grown-up journal, and with pen and paper I wrote. Words afterwords, until those words were sentences, and into paragraphs and then pages. Inside the lines, I began debunking my childhood beliefs of truth.
What feels like the next natural step is to write a memoir. Only I am an avid personal-development, self-help, and spiritual non-fiction reader. So I decided to expand my horizon by listening and reading memoirs, whatever comes I listen. Mary Carr’s The Art Of Memoir appeared, within her words, I found how I can write my own story. At first, I thought writing my story would bring me happiness, only that was another lie.
During the process as I write pouring my emotions and anecdotes onto the page and into each chapter, there is a physical manifestation in my heart. Sometimes it is burning or a spiderwebbing of tightness in my chest or a radiant scorching shooting up my throat. This pain I am experiencing is the truth, this proves to us the truth can hurt. Only I am not afraid of the truth. And the happiness of my past seems to escape me, yet the joy I step into when I find myself deep in the body of the text is beyond these lies. Here I unravel the raw unedited story of my life and the joy sets me free.
The Joys of Motherhood
Joy overcomes me as I watch my children running around our yard, simplicity, and beauty surround me. The mountains stand strong in the background, the trees rooted into the earth, the smells of fresh dirt spiral up my nostrils as I inhale. Little faces and unique personalities playing, jumping, and running with the dogs. The wind blows just right, I am still in my mind and the sensation of joy vibrates into my heart penetrating into my cells.
As I slow my mind and in the living room is a parade or a dance party where Spider-Man, a Cowboy and a Belly dancer are giggling and rolling around. The joy is contagious when I allow it to be.
In a blink someone punches, pulls hair or wrestled to the ground and the smiles turn upside down or wrinkle into anger. Here pours the wails and cries and yelling unkind words I choose not to say. Joy evaporates and I am in mama bear mode.
The Happiness Lies and Marriage
If you have been married for many years you know the truth of happiness and marriage. It is not my relationship that makes me happy. It is the moment when my husband looks into my eyes and smiles with his dimples so deep I could go swimming. Joy comes when we make love and he passionately holds me and caresses my body. And I tremble in awe of this connection.
Happiness is long lost inside of mountains of laundry, and piles of dishes, Legos scattered from corner to corner, and the bathroom explosion of toothpaste onto the mirror and endless meals to be prepared and cleaned up. Yet these are the real moments that bring us from happiness to acceptance.
Happiness doesn’t always live inside of wedding rings, but Joy on the other hand holds a forever home.
Allowing Joy in Everyday Life
The word Joy, also what I named our three year old chihuahua terrier after a debate where my husband wanted to call him killer. This path I am on I believe in the power of words and the mind and body connection. Wether positive or negative words, manifest and create our future. What we put out into the universe comes back to us. With this deep wisdom Joy triumphed.
Saying Joy to many times to count in a day is a way I have allowed joy into my and my families everyday life.
Moments of joy are not sought after they can appear almost as if like magic, whereas happiness is something we must constantly chase. As author and spiritual mentor, Eckhart Toelle speaks of joy being vibrantly alive peace.
The truth of joy is when I look out my front windows holding my favorite shaped cup or green tea. As I blink and breathe, the Rocky Mountains encapsulate me and I surrender to the sky and the way the clouds fluff this way or that way. Or as the sun sets over the orangish, pinkish, yellowish, with splashes of blues, greens greys, and all of the colors in between, like this masterpiece was painted just for me. These are the moment’s joy washes over me and gentle tears fill my eyes as I am in awe with gratitude to be alive.
The Joy of Being and Lie’s of Doing
The happiness lies comes when I am tricking myself into doing for success. Trapped inside of a human doing and the truth is, joy appears when I am simply a human being. Being is what we were created to be, only we have been fed so many lies now we are a collective of human doings. Doing…doing…going…going…to accomplish what we have been told to believe is the truth. Only this is the mother lies of all lies, that happiness will come to us when…and it’s up to us to fill in the dirty blanks of deception.
Healing the Happiness Lie‘s
Here I sit writing, allowing words to pour from my heart streaming from my hand. Here happiness is no where to be found. Yet joy is omnipresent, my actual heart beat calm my mind clear. These are the moments where vibrant ally alive peace flows like a gentle river. Healing the lies of happiness is different for us all. If we are open to healing through truth, healing with joy will organically follow.
To the Happiness Seekers
Sometimes we must exhaust everything to find what we have been desperatly looking for has been here our entire lives. When we stop seeking is when the magic of joy appears. When we stop doing and just be. As we show up for this moment and step out of the distractions, perhaps joy will arrive when we aren’t looking for it.
For the happiness seekers. I see you, I hear you, I understand you. Wherever you are on your quest with happiness and joy is a unique path. We must learn from pushing and trying so hard it hurts. Notice when happiness arrives and how it got here. And open to the joyful moments with friends and family, in nature, within a spiritual practice. Allow joy to unfold on its own timing.
From my heart to yours I send you Joy!
Read HERE For How to Develop a Grounding Practice!