Keys to Happiness

KeyHow are you feeling? Do you feel lonely? Do you feel great? Do you feel bored because you’re certain you know everything I’m going to write?

Right now, I’d like you to take a look at your emotional climate and rate yourself on a happiness scale of one to ten. Whatever your score, wherever you are, you are in the right place for using a spiritual approach for increasing your happiness.

Even if you gave yourself a ten on the happiness scale, there is more possible. If  you gave yourself a lower number, don’t be discouraged, or ashamed. There are spiritual tools you can use that will make your life easier and more pleasant.

Of course, no one is ecstatic all the time. There will always be ups and downs and some days are always going to be better than others. We all have a right to pursue happiness. What’s more, it is a spiritual quest for humans.

When we begin the search for happiness, we may believe another person, money, or achievements will be the magic key. Actually, it takes more than outside events to attract joy. It takes more than “stuff’ to make us happy. I believe a spiritual connection is a very important ingredient.

You and I are spiritual beings having a human experience and the more we can feel our connection to our spiritual nature, the more apt we are to be happy. That’s why so many studies show that people who follow a spiritual path are happier than people who do not.

When you understand that happiness depends less on outside events than on your reaction to them, you have an important key to your quest. The simple truth is that you do not need to react to life, you need to act.

You have free will, and that means you always have choices. You can choose actions that create happiness, no matter what is going on. With attention and spiritual practice, you can learn to make the right choices about your prevailing belief system.

The Truth shall set you free. One Truth that frees us is the fact that we can use our ability to make choices to increase our happiness. It is important to remember that you don’t have to wait for your mood to shift. You can shift your attitude when you become conscious that you need to change.

Science of Mind students know that life is not something that happens to us. We happen to life. We make choices that are going to improve our lives and if we make a mistake, we learn from that mistake. We never give up; we make new choices that work better.

When we seek happiness, we must open ourselves up to more light, more love, and more joy. We must release the thoughts and actions that don’t serve us and make room for happiness.

Sometimes people think they cannot be happy until a certain problem is solved. That is probably not true but it is always good to take a look at the problem and understand what can be done.

The first tool I go to when I am unhappy about any issue is the Serenity Prayer. God grant me the courage the change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I cannot and the wisdom to know the difference.

This prayer helps me sort out my situation and my potential responses. I am quickly reminded that there is no sense worrying about the past. That eliminates hours of useless stewing of the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” variety.

Once I give up on rewriting the past, the Serenity Prayer helps me move on and design a sensible new plan. For example, I don’t bother wishing I had started saving money at age 21. The past is gone forever so I have to deal with my current finances as they are today.

I know a person who is very sorry he dropped out of college at age 23 and he talks about it a lot. He could go back and get his degree at night school now. It’s true he will be over 40 when he finishes, (as he says) but he will be over 40 whether he has a diploma or not. The Serenity Prayer helps people look at things sensibly and offers a plan of action.

Another tool that works very well when people want to be happier is to take action. It is not a good idea to mull over an idea forever and let fear of failure immobilize you. Fear will paralyze you. Guilt or other negative opinions will also freeze you into failure. Action heals!

If you aren’t certain what to do, take a risk and take some small steps in the direction that looks best to you. After a fair trial, reassess your progress. Should you stay on course or stop? Either way, you will be better off. If you have to switch course, you will have more information. If your chosen path is working, then you are already on your way.

Whenever you are confronting an issue, the key is to let the past go and take sensible steps in the direction of your dreams. Be prepared to change your plan if you need to, but by all means, keep moving.

Just about any kind of problem can make you unhappy if you allow it . Many of us find relationships especially perplexing. One important key to happy relationships is to look on the bright side and remain optimistic while you set boundaries that work.

On the other hand, the key to relationship misery is to try to make other people be what you think they ought to be. Good relationships include a healthy dose of compromise and acceptance.

Over the years I’ve learned to release a lot of my desire to control others. Instead of playing the part of Control Freak, I now try to adjust and adapt to situations.

These days, when things aren‘t going my way, I remind myself of the rules. God lives in me but I am not God. I cannot write a script and make everyone say their lines exactly the way I want. I’m in relationship with other spiritual beings who are also having a human experience.

Once I recognize that they are just as unique and individualized expressions of Spirit as I am, I must recognize their right to their own choices. Love only works when it is grounded in acceptance and respect. People don’t own other people. While people can change, they do not change for others successfully. People pleasing won’t work.

It is actually much easier to live in happiness than in struggle. Using tools like the Serenity Prayer, releasing the past, direct action, compromise and acceptance helps. Try it and enjoy the results.

Ask yourself

Do I want more happiness?

What tools can I use?

How will I try to add to my happiness?

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3 Comments on “Keys to Happiness”

  1. Geofrey Layng says:

    The day will arrive when we know that we are universal spiritual reflections and that our human expression is our temporary energy perception of reality. Time and energy is the illusion of our consciousness. in truth we are Universal Life expressions off Love. Love Geoff

  2. Jane Pool says:

    I think I’ve always known instinctively even before I also learned it from the wise people of the ages that happiness is a state of mind. Sure we have sorrows from time to time, losing family members and friends but there is no need to let those sorrows make you an unhappy person. Life is too wondrous, with a jillion things for which to be joyful to let anything cause one to define oneself as an unhappy person.
    On Sal De Casas’ page in the little booklet put together by the Practioners’ Class there is a quote from Donald Miller that I think is great, “When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.”
    Geof’s comment above says it all.

  3. Rev. Jane, there is only one mind. On Wednesday morning I sent out a message to our Centre’s e-mail list about my topic for this coming Sunday “Take Responsibility for Your Own Happiness”. When I came home for lunch, I found your blog, which adds exactly what is needed to supercharge my talk! (with appropriate credit given, of course). Thank you. You are a real teacher.


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