What is Joy?

I wonder if joy is one of those vague words we use but don’t really understand?  Do you use it interchangeably with happiness or blessing?  I’ve learned it’s not the same.

Today is more about getting on the same page about the language we use at Let’s Claim Joy.  Joy comes from the latin word gaudere (no, I don’t know how to pronounce it either) which means rejoice.  Rejoice means to be glad; take delight in. For instance, I’m smiling now, rejoicing that my teenage daughter is blasting the instrumental music she asked for as a Christmas present.  I’m delighted she chose this for herself.  I am experiencing joy.

There are a few common definitions for joy.  Get out your dictionary.com app and join me in learning.  These are the two definitions that resonate with me the most.

Joy (noun)

-the expression or display of glad feeling, and

-source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated

That is so simple! Expressing a glad feeling.  We do that all the time!  I think we have slowly conditioned ourselves to think we can only experience joy connected with big milestone events like birthdays or riding a horse for the first time.  But joy is simple.  It’s the smile you share with your child who just gave you an original artwork of scribbles. It’s the laughter following a slobbery dog kiss.  

Somehow we still get it confused.  Joy is easily and often used interchangeably with blessing and happiness.  Let’s look at the real differences though. 

Blessing (noun)

-act or words of a person who blesses

-a special favor, mercy, or benefit

-a favor of gift bestowed by God

-the invoking of God’s favor upon a person

-praise; devotion; worship especially grace before a meal

-approval or good wishes

Unlike blessing, joy is related to feelings.  A blessing is something given to us not experienced by us.  We receive blessings and experience joy. You’ve given your time to read this blog and that is a blessing to me. Hopefully, I’ve shared thoughts and ideas that have been a blessing to you.

Now, how is joy different from happiness?

Happiness (noun)

-the quality or state of being happy

-good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy

When it is defined as a state, this means that happiness is a “particular condition of mind; or feeling.” In this definition I see that happiness is a state of mind made up of joy.  Joy leads to happiness. 

Joy is in the simple as well as big moments.  We just need to acknowledge it when we experience it.  Since beginning my pursuit for joy, I discovered that the more joy I recognize in a day the more likely I am to look back on the day and say it was a good day or that I was happy that day.  

So…..Ila…..get to the point….right?? What is joy really???

Joy is the gladness you express when you experience a moment of delight that was caused by something you value and appreciate.  

Add up your moments of joy and you'll discover the blessing of happiness.

We have a facebook community, Joy for Everyday Women, where we share inspiration and experience to encourage us to seek and claim our joy. We would love for. you to join! Want to know more about why seeking joy is our mission? Check ouLollipop Joy. 


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