Monday, June 22, 2009

Practice Happiness


"You have made known to me the ways of life. You will make me full of gladness with Your presence" (Acts 2:28). I just returned from visiting my daughter Teresa and granddaughter Jess in another state. While I was there, Teresa checked out a book for me called HAPPY FOR NO REASON by Marci Shimoff. I didn't have time to read much of it during my short visit, but I found what little I read was very illuminating. Aristotle wrote that "Happiness is the meaning and purpose of human existence." Thomas Jefferson, along with other founding fathers, said we had the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the "Declaration of Independence". I did not realize until recently that in 1776 the word "pursuit" meant "practice" instead of "chasing after". We were guaranteed the practice of happiness, not just the right to chase after the elusive idea of happiness!! Wow! What a difference that makes! So few people are happy, but I've found that if I stand straight and tall, with my shoulders back and take a deep breath, while putting a smile on my face, a little light of joy comes on. Try it!! Joel is often criticized for his ever-present smile, but I practice smiling all the time too, even when I don't feel like it. Guess what? The smile actually makes me feel the joy that is on the inside. Tolstoy tells a story of a beggar that sits on a box full of gold begging for money because he is unaware of that on which he is sitting. Let's not be like the beggar. Let's be aware that we have the ability to be happy now, regardless of circumstances. It's inside us. All we have to do is practice to bring it out. Throw back your shoulders, believe in God's joy, and smile. Relax! Feel the joy! Now with gratitude in your heart, thank God for all your many blessings. "He will fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouts of joy" (Job 8:21). Yay! You might even start singing! :)

6 comments:

Jacqueline said...

Happiness is snuggled up in a quiet spot within you. You need only be still and quiet and allow it to unfold, until it eventually engulfs you.

Patty said...

Yes, Jacqueline!! U are so right! Thanks for commenting. :)

Mutterguse said...

I am going to have to check out that book! Thank you, Patty, for this blog post.

I have heard it said that the opposite is true, that we can think ourselves ill, sad, depressed, etc... I am going to choose to smile, and try to project happiness from within.

Patty said...

I'm glad you are using your thoughts to instill joy, Rozan. You said that you read that we can use our thoughts in the opposite way too....to instill illness, sadness, and depression. I think that's right too. Our thoughts are very powerful so it is a good thing we can use them to instill health, happiness, and a sense of well-being. Have a great day, Rozan!

Amazing Grace said...

Amen, & So be it!
Not just for you but for me and for everyone other single person on this planet. Can you imagine if . . . each person figured out how to create happiness & chose to make it a part of their every day. Again, I say ~ Amen & Make it so.

Patty said...

Grace, thanks so much for commenting on the blog. Good to see you on here. Yes, it would be so wonderful if we would all choose positive emotions. What a bright light we would be!! I agree with you. Let's make it so! :)