Sunday, 19 February 2012

Fun v Joy and Happiness

“What do you do for fun?”- is a question I have always struggled with. Yet it is a question asked by many if not all counsellors, psychologists, therapists.

I never had an answer.  I didn’t like the question.  I understand now, that the word ‘fun’ is the problem here. 

The literal meaning of ‘fun’ is from hoax or practical joke.  Fun is a source of enjoyment or pleasure, but it can sometimes occur at the expense of other people’s feelings. The enjoyment that fun brings is not lasting and can often leave one with a feeling of emptiness.   A certain amount of playfulness or fun is important in life, but the constant search for fun is not.  Therefore I can now understand why having “fun” is not high on my list of things to do. Don’t get me wrong I do have lots of fun, but I don’t look for it and I often feel deflated when the fun has passed.

More important is the search for happiness and joy.  I would much rather be asked “What brings you joy?” or “What makes you happy?”  These two questions I can answer. 

Joy quite literally is the intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness and the expression or manifestation of such feeling.  Happiness is a feeling of well-being, the absence of fear and a feeling of contentment.  It can range from this feeling of well-being to the intensity of joy.

What brings me these feelings?  The unconditional love of my family and friends, watching my children become mature and wonderful adults, my connection with nature and the divine, the world in which we live,  my work in helping others heal and find their path in life, dancing,  my art ….. I could go on!

Yes there is fun involved in most of these things, but it is the happiness and joy they bring that are most important to me and my life.

What brings you joy and happiness?

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