So many people think they will be completely happy if they can just get the job they are seeking, move to another state, travel extensively, get married, get divorced, or come into a lot of money. The list is endless.
Success in these pursuits may bring happiness for a time. But complete happiness, in which life is full of buoyancy, great expectations, and permanent joy, might still be illusive.
It is our divine right to be happy. We can claim the joy that is ours from God through all eternity.
Through our relation to God, we all possess the qualities of happiness, which are spiritual. True happiness is the natural experience of those who are thinking and doing good, for God is good. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy says, "For true happiness, man must harmonize with his Principle, divine Love . . ." (p. 337). Harmonizing with God, divine Love, is being willing to know ourselves as God knows us. He knows us as expressive of His nature, and realizing this about ourselves is cause to rejoice.
Think of the happy smile of a child. You may think that as you mature, the kind of joy it shows can no longer be yours. But wait. God loves you as His child. You express His innocence. His purity. His happiness. Christ Jesus said, "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein" (Luke 18:17).
Often our happiness seems dependent on other people. I had to understand my true source of happiness when my daughter found work in another state. I was happy for her. But I did not realize how I would miss her and her son, my only grandchild. I began feeling a profound sense of sadness and loss. I telephoned them frequently just to stay in contact and hear their voices. I even began to make plans to sell my home and buy one near them.
One conversation with them revealed how completely happy they were. Not hearing that they wanted or needed me there, I realized that my being near them wasn't essential to their happiness. And I reluctantly had to admit that my motive to move was a selfish one. Friends told me time would heal this, but I yearned for relief from the wretched, unhappy feelings and was not willing to wait!
So instead I turned to God in prayer and asked for His guidance in healing the situation. Immediately, ideas from Him came flooding in. It became clear to me that God was not only their Father but their Mother as well, and that He alone would protect and care for them. Through prayer, I realized that all mankind was my family because we are all God's children. I realized that the patience, love, understanding, and unselfishness that were fundamental to my companionship with my daughter had never left me, because all these qualities come from God. This eliminated the clinging feelings of affection that I had been entertaining. I could continue to love my family as God's children, and not smother them. My prayer revealed to me that their real identity is spiritual and immortal, and I became less concerned about human circumstances and conditions. The words of Paul in the book of Acts were encouraging: "For in him [God] we live, and move, and have our being" (17:28). Being spiritual and immortal, we can never be separated from each other by space or time.
I knew I was healed when I began to have an even warmer sense of affection for these loved ones than I had ever had before. Through daily prayer I learned to respect the individuality of my family members and to find my complete happiness in God. I lost any false pride of human motherhood, and in its place found gratitude in knowing they were God's.
What freedom there is in knowing there is only one Father-Mother, God, and that His love warms us even more surely than the sunshine warms the earth and causes the trees and flowers to blossom.
We can all find true happiness. God doesn't give us anything less.
Blessed is every one
that feareth the Lord;
that walketh in his ways. . . .
happy shalt thou be,
and it shall be well with thee.
Psalms 128:1, 2