Can you just be happy?

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

TV and Radio ads are always trying to convince people of their need for something. "If only you had this [fill in the blank], you'd be joyful, happy."

Well, I'm starting to figure out that I don't have to postpone satisfaction until I acquire new possessions, find a special friendship, or meet business deadlines. I'm beginning to see that true joy, confidence, happiness, and [fill in the blank] are actually our inheritance as God's children. God is the source of these qualities of living. They're spiritual. They aren't products of our human careers or personal circumstances.

Joy is a facet of everyone's true nature. Each of us is God's expression - you are what God is expressing of His/Her own perfect nature. God's sons and daughters are joyful because they have God's loving, unfailing care forever.

This isn't to ignore the difficulties we all face in keeping our spirits up. Sometimes it just doesn't seem possible that God can help us with our problems. And looking to other sources for happiness, we often forget spiritual joy. Yet, every time we trust God, rather than focus on doubt or fear, we're actually acknowledging in a small way that God, who is divine Love, has power and control over all.

Praising God is a very healing frame of thought. A Bible translation I love renders words from Proverbs (17:22): "A joyful heart shall make good healing." One experience I had illustrated this for me. I'd been feeling discouraged about a bad relationship, which hadn't improved despite my best efforts. I'd become so concerned about it, in fact, that I felt abandoned - more than a little cut off from God. I felt I couldn't possibly have anything to be joyful about.

One evening I came home from work with a severe cold and sore throat. I'd relied on prayer for healing sickness in the past. It was natural for me to begin to pray for myself now.

I still wasn't feeling any better after two days in bed, but I began to pray more earnestly. And I remembered this: "Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind, and happiness would be more readily attained and would be more secure in our keeping, if sought in Soul" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 60).

Slipping out of bed, I resolved to turn with all my heart to God - who is the one Soul - for the happiness and health that seemed so lacking. "Father-Mother," I silently asked, "what do I need to know to feel Your love and care?" As I prayed in that quiet apartment, I was startled - by a sudden commotion from my pet parakeet. She'd been silent all weekend. But now she began chirping loudly, singing her heart out.

Hearing her unqualified joy, I realized I'd been feeling I had to wait for circumstances to change before I could be joyful and happy. But the message was that the ability to be joyous belongs permanently to each of God's children; it couldn't be blocked by a troubled relationship or by a stubborn cold.

So I decided to insist on expressing joy in some small way, even though I didn't seem to feel it.

Picking up a hymnbook, I began singing - croakily at first - but with as much gratitude as I could. I mentally praised God for being good and powerful. I recalled many instances where I'd already felt divine Love's care in my life. And then ...

... I found joy flooding into my thought, until the thoughts of darkness were all gone.

Immediately, the cold and sore throat began to fade. Congestion in my head drained away. So did my fear about the relationship. I became convinced that God had to be in control. I returned to work the next day with no indication I'd ever been sick.

The relationship problem was soon resolved.

Whether you're facing a glaringly difficult problem, or are just feeling blue, you can claim your right to purely spiritual joy - your Father-Mother's gift to you.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God .... God shall help her, and that right early. Psalms 46:4, 5

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