A very happy event occurred yesterday; the purchase of my new horse Danny was completed. I felt elated – I could barely stop smiling and the anticipation of his arrival on this upcoming weekend fills me with excitement. I shared it with some close family and friends and everyone was happy for me. And after a few hours of feeling this excitement, I could feel another emotion appearing behind my joy. I simply observed this new emotion – neither reacting nor ignoring it. I felt a bit lonely. I normally associate loneliness with the hard moments in life; the moments where I feel sad and unsupported. But this time, there was the yearning for someone else with whom to share my joy. Why? It’s not as though there was nobody who was happy for me. But I wished for a partner to share the news with. I wonder would there be more significance or meaning if I had a partner to experience the joy with? Do I need someone else to share my joy in order to validate it? Why do we want to share our joy with others? Does happiness grow when we share it? Is our experience of joy heightened and intensified when we share it? Does it matter how the person responds? Is our experience of happiness only elevated when they respond appropriately as defined by us? Does the person whom we share our news benefit from our sharing? I don’t know the answers to all of these questions, but I think they are worthy of our reflection.
My feelings of both joy and loneliness have lingered even beyond sleeping last night. I don’t feel that my experience of joy has been diminished because I have no partner to share it with but I suspect that the feeling of joy could be increased if I had a partner who shared my joy.
But imagine how sad it would feel to have a partner who did not actually share your joy? And with that final thought, I choose happy.