What price can you put on joy? Up until eight years ago, I rarely if ever truly felt joy.

Sure, many times I was happy, but I don’t believe that happy and joy are synonymous. If the famous chef, Emeril Lagasse were asked about the difference, he might say that joy was, “Happy kicked up a notch.”

Happy means feeling contented or great pleasure.

Joy means an emotion evoked by well-being. It’s an inner feeling.

Joy Has to Do with what You Believe

Not experiencing joy has a lot to do with how we were raised and what we personally believe.

Even though I was raised in the Christian faith, these words by Jesus did not resonate with me: “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that our joy may be complete.” John 15:11

Growing up I was taught to suppress emotions, so it makes sense that I rarely felt joy. I did feel much of anything. Plus, it didn’t help that my image of God was that of the great judge in the sky.

What changed eight years ago to make me feel joy? I let go of the false beliefs that I was taught.

The Price of Joy is to Feel

Rather than stuff down feelings, I told myself that it was okay to feel. In fact, it was liberating to feel!

It didn’t matter if the feelings represented a lot of sadness at first. Once I allowed those feelings to come in, I found that facing them head on also allowed me to let go of them.

As a result, I discovered there was priceless joy and the end of the process. Not only did I discover joy, but I lost the physical weight I carried along with the emotional weight. I share my complete story in The Freedom to Eat – 10 Secrets for Lasting Weight Loss and Inner Peace.

Joy is Priceless

A scary word in the definition of happy is contented. Many people fear change because they will be forced out of their comfort zones.

Happiness and contentment sound great, but not at the expense of growing and moving into a state of joy. To me, joy is a priceless emotion that I want to feel as often as I can.

Have you felt joy lately?

If you are holding onto emotional, physical, or spiritual weight that is causing you to lose your joy, receive the first two chapters from The Freedom to Eat: The Secrets We Keep and Goodbye Diets – Hello Freedom.