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Attaining happiness can feel elusive and complicated. Maintaining happiness can seem impossible, and that can be so intensely frustrating. I’ve been asking Spirit to teach me about happiness, and I’ve been learning a lot.
It makes sense that happiness seems so difficult to attain and maintain. After all, if we don’t know the TRUE cause of happiness, of course we’re going to look in all the wrong places and all the wrong faces to find it. Duh!
Fortunately, we can shift our habits and patterns of the past much faster than we realize. We can learn to look for happiness where it can be found. And therein lies our Freedom, and also our Prosperity.
The causes of happiness and unhappiness are hidden in plain sight. They stare us in the face all day every day, but we’re so used to them that we’re inured to them. We don’t see them at all. It’s as if they don’t exist for us.
Part of why we don’t see the causes of happiness is because we don’t actually know what we’re looking for. When I was in my teens and twenties, I thought that happiness came from these things:
A good job
And then, of course, there were qualifiers for each of those. For example, a good job has to have good pay, good opportunities for growth, prestige, fun, great co-workers.
When the causes of happiness are conditional, there are always qualifiers, and then the happiness can be snipped away in an instant the very moment those conditions change.
We see these dramas played out 24/7 on the screen of life. Over and over again in our day-to-day, we see happiness come and go because happiness is conditional.
I have found it EXTREMELY helpful to look at some of the aspects of the Science of Mind teachings of Ernest Holmes. For instance, he talks about emotions as being different than feelings. Emotions are temporary and the direct result of our thinking and beliefs, and feelings are more of a spiritual nature. Think of a feeling tone – a vibration vs an emotion.
Consider happiness as an emotion and Joy, with a capital J, being a feeling. But more importantly, I have come to recognize Joy as a spiritual quality that is omnipresent and available for us to express and reveal. Spiritual qualities are always available to us – they are eternal expressions of the Divine Nature such as:
Emotions are the result of our thoughts which are magnetized into our awareness by our beliefs because like attracts like. Spiritual qualities are aspects of our Divine Nature.
Happiness is fleeting and conditional.
Joy is unconditional.
It’s not the precise teaching of ACIM,, but it feels aligned and has been very helpful to me.
Let’s do the math.
Love is not conditional.
As Shakespeare said so well, “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.”
If our happiness does not come from Love, then it is temporary, like the house built on sinking sands.
When my mother was so sick before she laid her body down and shuffled off the mortal coil, life was very intense, and the appearances could be the cause of much distress. Yet, because there was so much Love being expressed, given and received, I felt this pervasive unconditional Joy despite all the gruesome appearances.
And that helped me to really KNOW that happiness and Joy are different.
Happiness is conditional, and therefore fleeting.
Joy is a by-product of living in alignment with Love.
Most people who experience fleeting bits of happiness don’t even realize that the main reason that they’re feeling happy is that they’ve bought the illusion that they have the thing that will make them happy and, in the having of it, they are no longer wanting.
Really catch this, because it’s been life-changing for me:
For most people, a momentary cessation of wanting is perceived as happiness.
It’s the temporary belief that “I have what I want, and therefore I want for nothing” that seems to cause the happiness. But it’s actually the laying aside of wanting, the belief in having, that causes the happiness.
That’s how delusional we’ve become – the absence of needing, wanting and craving is perceived as actual happiness.
This might be tragic, but that’s a perception, too.
All things work together for good and there are no exceptions, except in the opinion of the ego.
When we perceive that the conditions for our happiness are not where we are, we are making exceptions.
A Course in Miracles Workbook Lesson 64 reminds us that our function is to BE the Light of the world. It also makes it very plain and breaks it down:
Only by fulfilling the function given you by God will you be happy. That is because your function is to be happy by using the means by which happiness becomes inevitable. There is no other way. Therefore, every time you choose whether or not to fulfill your function, you are really choosing whether or not to be happy.
It comes down to our choice.
It always does.
We can cry victim, but our choices are the instruments of happiness.
That’s our purpose.
When we’re choosing Love, extending Love, willing to see only Love, and teach only Love, then we’re in perfect alignment and Joy is our natural state.
If you think you might like to explore a spiritual career, then check out some of my programs like Finding Freedom From Fear and the trainings I offer. I am offering two trainings in October. They are each deeply healing, and they are both part of larger professional programs, but anyone can take them.