Lesson 11: Happiness
Give It Away
Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
(Q) You will give the fundamental principles for our study of the next lesson on Happiness.
(A) These have been given, as has just been outlined, that if ye would be Happy: No envy, no strife, no faultfinding, no heckling – but rather the JOY of the Lord, and in seeing beauty and grace in EVERY thing! How hath it been given? Unless ye can see in those that dislike thee, that despitefully use thee, that ye would worship in that ye would call a manifestation of God, can ye know Happiness? Then, only those who make Happiness in the lives and the experiences of others may indeed know what it is to be Happy. (262-108)
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
One of the most practical applications of the paradoxical nature of wisdom is that we only truly possess what we give away. In seeking to contribute to the happiness of others, we increase our own happiness.
This is simply a manifestation of universal law ("like begets like"). The golden rule from Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" is based on this premise ("do to others what you would have them do to you").
This applies even to difficult relationships where there is friction of any kind. Certainly it can be a challenge to see beauty and grace in EVERY thing, in EVERY one. Yet the realization of Oneness put into practice brings the JOY of the Lord.
Application: Consciously seek to bring joy into the life of another and then become aware of the increase in your own happiness.
In knowing Happiness ye find that it is the little things, the little "I thank you," the little patience, the little mercy, the little kindnesses that bring it to the lives of others. So does it grow in thee. (262-109)
One of the consistent themes in this course has been the importance of “little things.” Spiritual awakening and soul development often comes in small increments – a little here, a little there; line upon line; brick by brick as it were.
So it is with happiness. You don’t have to give away a Cadillac or cruise to the Caribbean to find joy or happiness. It is in small kindness or generosity of spirit that brings a smile or twinkle in the eye of another that is most rewarding.
Application: Look for opportunities to bring happiness in little things in the lives of those around you.
Count Your Blessings
And as has been set to song, if you will count your happiness, your blessings day by day, they are many more than that you have even any right to find fault in. (262-109)
Mind is the builder. What the mind focuses on expands. If you focus on what’s wrong, you will get more of the problem. If you focus on what’s right, you get more of the solution.
Not that we should live in denial or ignorance of the problems of life. Yet it does matter that we stay positive and hopeful about the present and future circumstances of life. A positive frame of mind will take note of many blessings that go unnoticed otherwise.
The tendency to look for the negative in each circumstance is associated with depression. Happiness looks for the positive, and finds it.
Application: Count your blessings as you go through each day. None are too small to go unnoticed. Say a brief inner prayer of thankfulness each time something positive comes to mind and watch the list grow as your mental status improves.
Resource: Pleasure is not Happiness (Reply)