What has this got to do with parenting, you may ask? Well, as a parent we are an example to our children of how to succeed in life. Also, our children may come to us asking how to be happy. Or it may happen as it did for us. We were driving in the car – or more correctly my husband was driving so that I could focus on talking which I like doing – and I got into a discussion with my kids about being happy. The discussion centered on being happy in the here and now and with what we already have, especially intangible things that can’t be taken away. They all thought of something that they were happy about that did not come from a store.
You see, I’d been reading aloud appropriate sections from the Ringing Cedars books and Anastasia had just talked about all the things people do in their search for that feeling of oneness with God, their pristine origins. It seemed like a great time to talk about it seeing as I, probably like you, had noticed times when one or more of my kids had banked their happiness a little too much on getting things or even waiting for events. I tried to explain that no matter what goals we have or things we desire, we should accept perfect happiness here and now or risk wasting our whole life wishing and waiting for something that we may or may not actually ever get to. The youngest one’s response as to why she was happy was, “because God made me”. And as I said to her, that’s a great response, because it’s not one that anyone can take away from you.
When I was younger I remember being quite up and down emotionally. Then my dad taught me the secret of happiness that he’d learned from a book. You choose happiness - just because. If you have to have conditions in order to be happy, someone can always come along and alter those conditions. But if you’re simply happy because you’re alive, then that’s a reason that will endure (for this life at least, but then, we will be alive in the next)!
But, back to feeling happy “just because”. What if you can’t generate that feeling? As others have rightly said, start thinking of all the things you have to be thankful for and you will start to feel good. Also, for me it’s not that hard to just generate a feeling of love for God. I realize that when I was younger I would more often look for love or for a happy feeling. Now I realize that when you always want it you express lack and often don’t connect with what you seek. But when you, by choice, turn the dial of your mind/heart and generate gratitude and love you reconnect with that energy everywhere in the Universe, kind of like tuning in to the giant radio that is God. It’s easier for me to see this now than when I was a teenager, but better late than never!
This may seem like a non-spiritual topic and in a way, perhaps it is more psychological. But then again, maybe not. For if we acknowledge, accept and realize our divine estate right here and now, perhaps we can avoid many unnecessary detours on the path, unnecessary experiences all in search of that perfect bliss, which already lies within us. So, let’s be happy and enjoy our oneness with God right here and now and in the meantime be a great example to our kids!
What spiritual practice keeps you happy?