Everyone wants to feel good. And there are many recipes for how to feel good, many of them based on something external to ourselves, something such as a large bank account, a relationship, exercise, a nice wardrobe, food, even a drug.
While some of these recipes may appear more effective than others, there is a fundamental flaw in the basic premise of each. It is not really possible for anything external to make us feel truly good, and this becomes clear in understanding the true nature of good.
Long ago, when a young man addressed Christ Jesus as "Good Master," Jesus asked, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God" (Mark 10:17, 18). Good is God. In actual fact, if we want to feel good, we need to feel God-that is, be aware of His presence and feel His love.
How does one find God to be present? Jesus gave a very specific answer to that question when he said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20, 21). This kingdom represents all good.
To have a sense of God's love certainly feels good, and moreover brings good to every aspect of our lives. It's knowing that God is with us every moment, wherever we are and whatever we are doing. This translates into loving thoughts and actions. These bring good to others as well as to ourselves. The presence of God can never involve harm to anyone. It involves no selfishness or danger. It has no harmful effects, can never be excessive, is always available.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the textbook of Christian Science, written by Mary Baker Eddy, says: "Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it" (p. 57). Truth and Love, as used in this statement, are names for God. As we understand more of the nature of God, by expressing truthful and loving qualities ourselves, a precious certainty of our inseparability from God, from good, deepens and strengthens.
We are one with God through Christ, and Science and Health says, "Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness" (p. 332). Jesus was so inseparable from this "true idea" that to him belongs the special name of Christ Jesus. As he indicated when he talked of the kingdom within, God communicates to our receptive heart through the truth-through spiritual ideas, which we need in order to feel good and do what is good. Through prayer and Scriptural study, you can become aware of this activity within you, thereby growing in the understanding of God and of your own identity, finding what makes for true happiness in human life.
We can turn to God anytime, anywhere, to know how to think and act in ways that bring happiness to ourselves and to others. This really does feel good! The joy of discovering our relationship with God has no comparison.
Before I knew of Christian Science and what it teaches about the true nature of happiness, I believed good could come and go, and that it was dependent on circumstances. I felt an inevitable anxiety owing to this fluctuating sense of good. I strove to achieve happiness through my own efforts, not always successfully.
When something in particular that I desired very strongly seemed beyond my reach, I fell into a deep depression. It was then that I started to read Science and Health, and gradually my concept of good was transformed. I woke to the realization that good, being God, is ever present and is brought into human experience through understanding and obeying Him. What I had so wanted did come my way-but more important, I knew I could never be separated from the goodness of God, nor from the joy and happiness of knowing Him.
This has been a source of constant satisfaction in my life, and the ups and downs have disappeared. For me, feeling good is no longer dependent on outward circumstance but on my understanding of the ever-presence of infinite Love.