Why don’t I experience joy and happiness?
Door Marc Steinberg | 2 April 2018
Experiencing joy and happiness should be a human right of the highest order. A human being is not only able to experience joy and happiness but numerous studies have shown how important joy and happiness are for our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
Although joy and happiness are frequent visitors, they don’t knock too often on the door for most people. Besides for some people joy and happiness are a high priority in their lives, for others less; they have different values on the top of their list. However, in one way or another every value on the list is linked to joy and happiness; there is no way around it.
Consequences of a life without joy.
Yes we can adapt, yes we can hope and wait, yes we can endure periods without joy and happiness, but the longer we endure a joyless existence, the more our mental, emotional and physical bodies take a toll. Millions and millions of people around the globe are increasingly falling into depression, burn-outs, bore-outs, loss of drive and loss of meaning. It is epidemic, and the pain and suffering is tremendous. And so is the denial; there are countries (e.g. Russia) where people become suspicious if someone walks around with a smile on their face, as in “What’s wrong with you?”.
Ever dared to be peachy-keen happy in a subway, a train or a bus?
Joy and happiness are not exactly the same.
Joy is our natural state when we experience our reality worry- and anxiety-free. Whereas happiness is a mechanical response to the presence of certain conditions that need to match our subconscious happiness-concepts. Joy is for free, happiness always has a price tag attached.
But who in joy asks for happiness?
Let’s continue speaking about joy. The good news is that joy doesn’t require circumstances; our essence is always in joy – just like the sun. It is the clouds that determine whether we experience the sunlight or not. When one removes the clouds, the sun is always there.
The clouds we are talking about here are our thought forms which define our perception. Our beliefs, the way we interpret realities. In its simplest form displayed as the joy experienced by the one who interprets the glass half filled with water as positive; in contrast to the other who interprets the glass half filled with water negatively.
One cannot be not joyful when one interprets reality in a positive way.
It’s that simple. But – yes, there is a big but – we have been conditioned to form thousands of negative interpretations of the world, of humans, of society, of money, of work, of relationships and so on and so forth. We are exposed daily to a reality that predominantly consists of negative interpretations. Our “normal” state of mind is a permanent overcast with occasional openings for some sunlight to break through. Buddha was right when he said that being a human being means suffering. And Buddha also said that happiness is a choice. A choice in perspective, a choice with regard to the way we interpret our realities.
Of course it doesn’t come easy to interpret reality positively when the rest of the world is interpreting it negatively. One can expect to be provoked and even attacked, like “You don’t see what is real!” or “Yeah yeah, just have your pink glasses on!” or “You don’t want to face reality as it is!”. These statements result out of the perspectives the others live in. As the wisdom says: “The truth lies in the eye of the beholder”.
Interpret reality positively.
So, if you want to experience joy and happiness you just need to start interpreting reality positively. Once you start doing this, you will see how polluted you were. It will shock you. Will you lose your objective sense of reality? Absolutely not. You still will see reality like everyone else, but you will interpret it differently – and with that create a different experience. I am reminded of Viktor Frankl (best seller author of “Man’s search for meaning”) who interpreted his Auschwitz concentration camp reality in such a way that left him internally undamaged and compassionate.
We are the source.
No one but ourselves has access to and the power over our interpretations. We were the source and we always will be. If you take offense now because you think that what I am saying is just too easy, that it can’t be that simple – well, then note that just now you are being hijacked once again by negative interpretation of what you are reading. Beware once negativity has sunk into your subconscious and inevitably had become a program, it controls your perception without you being aware of it. You are not thinking on innocent ground, but always from an already existing background (which is subconscious).
Rewiring takes time.
A last note: When you start shifting your habit of interpretation from negative to positive you will need to be patient for a while until your brain creates enough new synoptical connections to rewire itself.
When that is established, you simply will experience joy; in your mind, in your heart and in your body.