We are encouraged to be more loving, and to be so will help us to feel happy in/with life. 'Be grateful, be loving, be thankful, be kind this is the way to happiness', but is it? In a chicken and egg scenario, joy actually comes before love.
Unrequited love is a great example of this, we love something or someone and yet if it/they do not love us back. We continue on with our admiration and efforts and whilst the feeling of love may still be there we lose energy, interest and finally effort... next comes a broken heart. For such short periods of time we may have felt happy during the interlude and this feeling of happiness can end up becoming feelings of sadness expressed in many ways; depression, stress, anxiety, worry, anger, tiredness to name a few.
What would happen if rather than seeking love we sought joy? This is something I have been working on, seeking joy directly whilst also becoming aware of causes distress (the opposite) of joy in my life and within myself.
I have found that when I seek to experience joy, I experience happiness and a love for life. Joy is such a light feeling and it lifts you up. When I am filled with joy I want to be generous and kind and understanding and this is loving. So by seeking joy, my heart fills with love.
A joyful love is light and all that it touches is uplifted, including our thoughts and actions. Love however, is not necessarily light and it sometimes fosters light heartedness but not all the time. Joy always fosters light heartedness and light heartedness always brings forth a loving feeling towards life.
We can feel love and yet still feel stress or anxiety or tiredness or stress... but when we feel joy we cannot feel anything but happiness.
Seek joy directly in your life and feelings of love and happiness will follow.