A Life of Pleasure – A Life of Joy

There seem to be two distinct varieties of happiness.

I am calling one of these “pleasure” and the other “joy.”

Taking brings pleasure and giving brings joy.

How can one tell the difference between these two feelings?

Pleasure is sweet and ephemeral, dissolving into the next moment’s events.

Joy is profound and enduring, supplying a foundation of happiness that charges the next moment’s events with meaning.

A full life has both.

Too little joy (from not contributing your efforts for others’ benefit) usually also brings an orientation toward too much pleasure.

Such a pleasure-only orientation, unbalanced, becomes addictive, leading to a loss of both joy and pleasure.

Thus, the AA expression goes: “Alcohol gave me wings to fly, and then it took away the sky.”

Conversely, too little acceptance of receiving pleasure takes a person away from the world.

Paradoxically, it can lead to emotional detachment, making one’s attempt to contribute to others less heartfelt.

How can you find your balance?

Your heart will tell you.

When your pleasures start to feel empty and their taste becomes wooden, when you seek to distract yourself from a centered attention on the blessing of living, turn to others and look toward their happiness.

Your joy will grow.

In this way, you don’t have to seek joy.

This is good, because you can’t successfully create it through effort.

It is a gradually deepening by-product, a side effect, of giving of yourself to others.

On the other hand, if you start running out of passion, open up your heart to others and find those who want to give to you.

Give others the gift of allowing them to support you, too.

Eventually, your rhythm of taking and giving, of pleasure and joy, will become a unified dance.

Your smile will reveal your pleasure as your heart swells with expectation of the next moment’s opportunity for receiving and contributing.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 at 9:24 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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