Monday, August 20, 2012

Peace vs Happiness

The 2012 Global eBook Awards announced the winners this morning. No, I didn't win, but it gave me an idea for a post, which probably sounds weird. You see, I try not to blog about disappointments. With so many struggling writers out there, it feels wrong to reiterate how published writers have bad days too. You already know that: no sense reinforcing the negative, right?

Right. Unless it evokes something positive.

I could go into the other reasons why I woke feeling blah, but that's not really the purpose of this post. What I'd rather talk about is why it's impossible to be happy every single day.

I believe there exits in each of us the potential to be at peace despite the absence of happiness. In fact, I actually believe peace is better. Happiness is an emotion fed by the ego, while peace is inherently ours by the very nature of our existence.

For years I couldn't imagine peace without happiness. There were times when I couldn't imagine happiness period. As I grew older, I learned that emotions are fleeting. When I woke this morning to a dark cloud hanging over me, I tried to shake it. I read my emails, visited some of my favourite blogs, yet, couldn't escape my unease. Then I realized the source of my mood was my ego; and thus my spirit was still at peace.

You're probably thinking, Joylene, that's all fine and dandy, but you don't know what's happening in my life.

True. But I understand great sorrow, disappointment, and confusion. I understand that life isn't always fair or easy. And yes, it's sometimes difficult when you're in the midst of misery to see through it.


Maybe bad days are there so we recognize good days.

You must clean what you catch. <g>
If you're not feeling happy today, take a moment and concentrate on your breathing, focus on the life force surging through you. Feel it? That's your spirit, and with it comes the peace I'm speaking of.

Ah, the ran-out-of-gas trick.

You may be wondering if the heroes of my novels grow to understand that peace of mind?

Well, yes they do.



In closing, in addition to the photos of our hotter than normal summer, here's some that weren't so peaceful.

Yes, that's hail~!








40 comments :

  1. Hi Joylene,
    Some powerful verbalisation within your thoughtful article. I know you have experienced much trauma in your life. Yet, you are a realist and know that there will be days of darkness, of misery, of an intangible you cannot quite figure out. And despite this, you look for and embrace the positive distractions that are on offer. Somehow, you find ways to turn what can be perceived as a negative into a most inspirational positive. My friend, the inner peace you speak of is profound and today, you have helped me. For that, I'm truly grateful.
    In peace and positivity, your friend and admirer, Gary

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    1. Honestly, Gary, it was while I was reading your blog this morning that these thoughts came to me -- in a flash. I was feeling blue and reading your post lifted me up and helped me articulate my feelings. So, it me who is grateful. And no, that doesn't mean we argue now on who's the most grateful, because if I remember correctly, I'm older, therefore I win.

      Big hugs to you, my buddy.

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    2. I appreciate that. This is true testimony that we can all be here for each other. Okay you win in the gratitude bit. I would never argue with an ever so slightly older women than me. Although, noting your photo, you look like you're barely old enough to go into a beer parlour!
      Your starstruck, shy and humble fan, Gary

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    3. Gary, don't be telling anyone, but the secret is hair dye and makeup. Warning: get help with the colour because it makes a mess. As for the makeup, just wing it.

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  2. First, beautiful photos.

    No, we can't be happy everyday. And I believe that we wouldn't truly understand happiness if we didn't experience sadness. Not that I want to make everyone experience horrible trials, but knowing what the opposite is we appreciate happiness even more. I completely agree with you about peace though. Peace is independent of happiness. Even though I sometimes let it get obscured I couldn't imagine life without that peaceful spirit inside me.

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  3. I like your differentiation between happy and peaceful. I'd never thought much about it, other than I feel like I'm a naturally content person, lucky enough to be happy most of the time too. Kind of the same vein, I guess. Anyway, you know what you're talking about (as usual). Thanks for sharing.

    Peace,
    Keith

    PS: AND happiness

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    1. Peace and happiness to you too, my dear friend. And big hugs too.

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  4. I always thought happiness was immaterial, that other things were much more important, things like honesty, integrity, truth . . . and peace. I've never trusted happiness because it doesn't hang around during the bad times when you need it most.

    Hey!! If you woke up unhappy today, and could recognize the difference, does that mean you've been having some happy days? I hope so.

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    1. I'm having many good days, Pat. I wouldn't associate them with feeling happy, some, but that's okay. I like peace. Thanks for stopping by. I'm working on that little thingy. It's not going well, but I'm giving it the old college try. I'll let you know when I'm close.

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  5. "Maybe bad days are there so we recognize good days."

    Well said, Joylene! As usual, I enjoyed seeing all of your wonderful photos. :)

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  6. I agree there is a difference between peace and happiness, but I never really thought you can have peace without happiness. I have to turn that over in mind a bit. I think joy and happiness are completely different. Joy and peace come from within. You said it so well--"take a moment and concentrate on your breathing, focus on the life force surging through you. Feel it? That's your spirit, and with it comes the peace I'm speaking of." Some days we just need to hit bottom, so we can bounce back up. Your pictures are gorgeous. Looks like a fun summer!!

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    1. It took a while for me to recognize the difference, Janet. It was one day of no particular importance when this realization came to me. I knew I wasn't happy, but I felt close to that inner spirit, and I knew instantly it was peace I was experiencing. A big moment in my life, for sure. Thanks, eh!

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  7. I love this post. I suppose what you call peace without happiness is what I call contentment--something I aim for very consciously in my life. I know people struggle to reach that their entire lives, and I don't want to look back on my life and see that I missed opportunities to just be in the moment and enjoy it. Your wisdom never ceases to awe me, Joylene!

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  8. Thanks for sharing....I do love to think about feelings and the source of peace and happiness. And you're right. They are definitely different.

    I think sometimes we go wrong when we start thinking of happiness as if it is a destination. Like "happily-ever-after," which we all know is a myth. Don't we?

    Peace, which I think of as kin to contentment, can come at various moments throughout a day. Like when we listen to a child and know that he or she is connecting to us; or when we watch a gorgeous sunset; or when we know that, at day's end, we have accomplished many things we set out to do.

    Thanks for making me remember these elusive moments...now when I'm feeling frustrated that I couldn't install my printer on my new laptop (incompatible, the message read). Which means a new printer...okay. Not today, though.

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    1. Laurel, I'm attempting to write a chapter that's giving me problems, so I understand your frustration with the installation of your printer. It's during those moments when I'm forced to stop and relinquish my anxiety. The result is quietening and peaceful. A heavenly experience. Thanks!

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  9. Hi, Joylene! Interesting post. Those pictures are beautiful!

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  10. This post reminds me of how I find being by the water peaceful. I go to the bay or beach at least once a week to destress. I may have many problems going on at once, but I can have a few moments of peace a week.

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    1. I agree, Medeia. That's why a soak in the tub is so glorious sometimes.

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  11. I think the ability to be content with one's lot in life only comes with maturity. People who've lived through a lot know how to count their blessings. :-)

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    1. Yes. Sadly, it took a lot for me to learn that. Hi Lexa!

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  12. Thank you for the lovely post, Joylene, and for the beautiful photographs.

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  13. Happiness is an emotion fed by the ego, while peace is inherently ours by the very nature of our existence. -- I love this post. Your words touched the core of so much. I've read there are three circles in the world: in Asia, good can't exist without bad; in South America, bad has to exist so good can triumph; in Western Europe and North America, bad's got to go, as if it's an evil thing. (Countries elsewhere cross into the circles.)

    And super gorgeous photos!

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    1. Kittie, I hadn't heard that. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for your kind words. Hope your day's going well.

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  14. Such lovely pictures you have here...sometimes I think that unhappiness and frustrations come about when things didn't turn out the way we had planned or when we get hit by a mean curve ball...but a saying I heard once about life and living is that it goes on...Joylene, here's me throwing a handful of sunshine your way...

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    1. Thank you, Cynthia. I'm receiving the handful with much gratitude. Have a great day!

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  15. I hate it when I'm feeling crappy in the morning. I have to have those positive thoughts to get through the day. I lOVED your pictures! Great blog post!!!

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  16. By the way---am your newest follower on your GFC!

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  17. Joylene, you have a wonderful outlook on life. :) I think I know what you mean. When I was young my feelings overwhelmed me. Now I'm at the point that I can stand back from them and see the bigger picture. (At least most of the time) I think for me it has to do with getting older, gaining experience, and returning to my Christian faith.

    And I just love seeing the pictures! Beautiful! :)

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    1. Yes, faith is a intricate part of being at peace. I think you can be at peace without being happy, but I don't believe you can be at peace without faith. Thanks, Amanda.

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  18. Hey, so glad you came over to my blog. I absolutely loved and related to what you wrote about peace and happiness. Sometimes, it's so hard to detach from our egos in order to hold on to what's underneath them. You're right that certain emotions are fleeting and it's important to cultivate a sense of peace independent of all else.

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  19. So often people struggle to find peace instead of allowing peace to find them. Loved the posts and the photos.

    I'm hoping this comment publishes. My connection has been slow lately and I'm not having any luck leaving comments. I have been reading, though.. Gah! It's frustrating sometimes.

    BTW: I really enjoyed the post you wrote about your mother.

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