In the Pursuit of…

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it truly means to be in the “Pursuit of Happiness” and if it really is as hard to attain as we sometimes make it out to be.  Then I began thinking about whether or not those of us who are pursuing happiness are in actuality going after the wrong thing.  I mean don’t get me wrong, we all want our little piece of happiness whenever we can get it but what about the moments of sadness that we have in between.  Do those moments just overshadow all that we have achieved and allow the good moments in our lives to get lost in the pursuit?  Are we pursuing something that is impossible to maintain?  Have you ever stopped to ask yourself whether you were content with trying to find your happiness or if you would rather be satisfied in finding your joy?

The two, although similar in meaning, mean different things depending on the person you are asking.  While happiness is very much desired by all, it is fleeting.  It is a feeling that even when reached can not really be kept.  It’s one of those emotions that when we can get it, we grab hold of it but still have to understand that it will not last.  I believe that people’s pursuit of happiness is more so based on the assumption that there is an ideal that we need to match up to.  It’s more about what feelings we project to others and what others see when they look at us and examine our lives.  If life is based on obtaining happiness, then we will always fall short because life is always changing and what we need to be happy will change right along with it.  We can choose whether we want to be happy or not but generally what will make us happy at one particular moment will not keep us happy throughout our lifetime.

Joy, while intertwined with happiness, isn’t dependant on your circumstances and unlike happiness it requires no effort.  It is something much deeper then anyone can see and is something that is constant.  Joy is that feeling that you still feel deep down in your soul even if you aren’t happy and your world may very well be crumbling around you.  It is what gets you through those periods of sadness where you might wonder if you will ever be happy again.  It last through your trials in life and is what gives you strength that you sometimes don’t even realize that you have.  When trying so hard to pursue your happiness you may sometimes overlook the joy that is right in front of you.  Having joy, to me, says that you are at peace within yourself and that is a step beyond happiness. 

In examining the two I’ve come to believe that happiness has more to do with what you have and what can be attained where as Joy is about who you are inside.  Joy is about what is in your heart and what’s in your spirit.  I think that maybe the key to finding your happiness lies in truly discovering your joy.  If you were to loose everything that you felt made you “happy” tomorrow would you still have that feeling of inner peace within.  If not then maybe happiness isn’t what you should be in pursuit of.  Happiness can come and go in an instant but joy can last a lifetime.  Once you have found your joy no one can use it, no one can borrow it and no one can ever take it away.

Jimmetta Carpenter

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Release Date To Be Announced)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”


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