Psychologists tell us that there is a difference between joy and happiness. They each are wonderful feelings to experience, but they are different. Wise folks tell us that joy is a more dependable feeling. It comes when you make peace with who you are in your own true self. Wise persons remind us that happiness is more often triggered by external things and perhaps is based on what other people think, what other people say, what they wear, what church they attend or try to be like others in other ways. There are all kinds of things that push folks to be someone other than who they truly are. In our world today, social media can also impel us to get caught in “what other people are thinking.” Once again, we are caught in a kind of trap. Let us learn to foster our own self-esteem, foster kindness to ourselves and let go of trying to be other than who we are meant to be.
By Kate Casper, OSB