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And, The Pursuit of Happiness – by Josephine Williams

The Constitution of the United States guarantees the citizens of this country the right to pursue happiness. Gurus of all kinds have all types of remedies to guide their followers toward a state of happiness. As consumers, we are bombarded with advertisements of products and services that promise euphoria if we partake of their offerings. Billions of dollars are spent annually in the race toward the elusive dream of grabbing onto happiness. Why is it that so many are unable to grasp this desire state? Let’s start by realizing that some don’t understand the concept of happiness. Basing happiness on materialism is a no-win situation because the more we acquire, the harder we must work in the attempt to hold on to possessions while reaching to gain more.

It becomes necessary to advance in our careers to earn larger salaries so that we can purchase more. The house we had to buy a few years ago doesn’t satisfy any longer – too small, wrong neighborhood, etc. Last year’s car is now undesirable because it is not top of the line, or it doesn’t match what our neighbors own. We must have the latest and the best and thus begins the vicious cycle of competing
against the rational and a society that advocates on behalf of selfishness and greed. The result is debt and emotional and physical illness. The very objects we sought to make us happy have taken us to the opposite condition – destruction. Changing our mentality regarding happiness will bring about a different result.

Happiness doesn’t come from the outside, not in material possessions and not from people. If we depend on others to make us happy, we will be disappointed eventually. It is not in possessions because we don’t feel satisfied for very long before we’re looking for something else. That means we must look within ourselves to find the happiness we long for Putting self in order is the proper gateway. Putting self in order is a process. Step one, know thyself. Understand and accept your strengths and weaknesses. Use strengths to your advantage and discover strategies to overcome weaknesses that may be important in your future. Once you accept who you are, build confidence instead of tearing yourself down. Celebrate your uniqueness! This takes time and effort but well worth all the hard work. The ultimate resource to happiness is a firm spiritual connection.

Try as hard as we may, life has too many turns, detours, and obstacles to navigate life’s journeys alone. There are many situations like death, illness, job loss, divorce that we absolutely cannot control. And because, these problems are bound to occur, it is necessary to have a foundation on which to stand so that we don’t fall off the edge. Knowing there is a divine power greater than anything human to support us through all catastrophes great and small allows us to stand and walk patiently through each difficulty. Only God can keep us centered when all around us seem to be spinning out of control. Only He can fill our voids so that we can live fulfilled lives and feel content with the blessings He bestows upon us. Trust God for everything; peace and happiness will abide.

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