Joy is More Than HappinessYet, I did not want mere happiness. I knew that there is a world of difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is dependant on circumstances but I knew that it is possible to dwell in joy, even in the direst of circumstances. To me, happiness is a fickle, surface emotion that is fleeting at best, impossible to even touch when I am surrounded by difficulties. Yet it was precisely a life filled with difficulties and yes, I could even say suffering, which stripped away my inner stumbling blocks to living in God. It was a Catholic psychiatrist who taught me how to access the Holy Spirit rooted deep within all of us. Joy is ready to bubble up, instantaneously, if only we take a moment to connect with the Holy Spirit and take our eyes off our problems, I learned that I can choose to live in my thoughts and my surface emotions which are dependant on what I am doing or seeing at that precise moment. However, if I take off my dung coloured glasses and look at reality, I can be grateful and somewhat happy and content. This is Cognitive Therapy which basically says that thoughts proceed emotions. However, if I delve deeper, often my wounded self rises up and once again I can plunge into pain again. At the snap of my fingers, I can look even deeper, deeper than my thoughts, deeper than my emotions, deeper than my wounds and touch my inner spirit, my core self, the self that is united to the eternal God. Immediately pure bliss bubbles up and I can laugh, even as tears dry on my face. Why? My spirit is made up of the very same stuff that God is made up of, so when I open my spirit to him, his joy and life and strength immediately flows into me. I do not have to be perfect. I do not earn it. All that is needed is the humility to realize that I cannot survive on my own strength and then ask for his strength. Living in joy is as easy and as difficult as that.
Copyright 2018 Melanie Jean Juneau
About the Author
Melanie Jean Juneau is a mother of nine children who blogs at joy of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, the Editor in Chief at CatholicLane, CatholicStand, Catholic365 , CAPC & author of Echoes of the Divine.