Do you want to be happy?

ONCE when I was very unhappy I was quite convinced my feelings were fully justified by adverse circumstances. So I went on hugging my unhappiness. Then one day a friend said to me: ``You know, happiness doesn't really have anything to do with circumstances. It's something you have within you! If you are happy, you take your happiness along with you. If you are unhappy, you take that along instead.'' At first I found this difficult to accept. But I didn't like the thought of taking my unhappiness along with me indefinitely, so I began to think about it a little more carefully. I realized that happiness couldn't be just a product of the moment's circumstances. A lot of people who have very good circumstances aren't a bit happy. So happiness must have some spiritual content if it is to be enduring. Like integrity and wisdom and intelligence, joy is innate in man as the image of God. Understanding that it is a quality of our true nature helps us to shape circumstances instead of being their victim. Where did my unhappiness come from? Not so much from the circumstances as from my thought about them, and my reaction to them. How could I change this thought and so stop the reaction? The Bible says, ``He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.'' 1 Clearly I wasn't doing either of these things, so I prayed to be wiser and more trusting. Then I found a passage where Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, referring to God as divine Truth: ``Truth is the real; error is the unreal. You will gather the importance of this saying, when sorrow seems to come, if you will look on the bright side; for sorrow endureth but for the night, and joy cometh with the light.'' She goes on: ``If you wish to be happy, argue with yourself on the side of happiness; take the side you wish to carry, and be careful not to talk on both sides, or to argue stronger for sorrow than for joy. You are the attorney for the case, and will win or lose according to your plea.'' 2 At first this seemed like just talking myself into being happy. I had tried this before without success, but now I saw that an attorney wouldn't get far in court that way. He has to have complete confidence in the power and justice of the law, and then put forward cogent reasons to support his argument if he is to prove his point. I had to do the same, and I had to share the attorney's trust in the strength of his case. What were some of the spiritual reasons I had to put forward on the side of joy? I had to insist in prayer that God is good, that He is divine Love, and that man is God's image, or expression--witnessing God's goodness, feeling God's love, manifesting God's wisdom, protected by God's law. Then I had to realize that my true selfhood, created by God, was that man and not a mortal weighed down by circumstances. And I had to rest my case on this basis. So I began to admit to myself that good was possible since good is infinite. I started to open my thought to it and expect to experience it. Then it began to come. Later on, the circumstances changed too, but by then I was no longer so dependent on them. I found too that happiness can be an important factor in health. Unhappy thoughts are unhealthy thoughts. And disease, like unhappiness, must yield as we stand firmly on the side of health as God-given and God-maintained. This isn't simply positive thinking but a clear recognition of eternal truth, of the way God has actually made man. Christ Jesus proved this truth by healing disease. And he promised that his followers could expect to do this too. So instead of allowing circumstances to dictate whether we are to be happy or unhappy, healthy or sick, we can always appeal to divine law for protection and reassurance, and place our happiness on a sure foundation. 1 Proverbs 16:20. 2 Christian Healing, p. 10. 30{et

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Do you want to be happy?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today