When I look at the world around me, I see a lot of unhappiness. I see a lot of animosity. I see a lot of blame inspired by shame, and a lot of hatred cultivated by envy. In spaces where there could be complete and unconditional joy, I see instead malicious mean-spirited gossip and malignment, spewed not just by men but by sisters against one another. So I began the process of examining what happiness really is, and I learned a lot. For starters, happiness is not only a way of interpreting the world but it is paramount to creating a world that is inclusive.
In his book Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill, Ricard Matthieu, one of the world’s most learned experts on happiness, says that “while it may be difficult to change the world, it is always possible to change the way we look at it.” It is divine choice that impacts our ability to only be visionary but to be inclusive. The truth is that we can never have the capacity to embrace others with love unless we first love ourselves. Through the lens of love, there is no darkness, no enemy, no foe . . . only spaces filled with the pure enlightenment of happiness.
Matthieu says that “[t]he search for happiness is not about looking at life through rose-colored glasses or blinding oneself to the pain and imperfections of the world. Nor is happiness a state of exaltation to be perpetuated at all costs; it is the purging of mental toxins, such as hatred and obsession, that literally poison the mind.”
No matter what is going on in the world around us, we can choose happiness. If we all did, we would experience a complete cosmic shift that would catapult the world beyond the convention of limitation and boundaries and allow us to see the greater good that each and everyone of us is called to be.
The Psalmists says ” I will bless the Lord at all times; [God’s] praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalm 34:1) This praise, this blessing, this adoration is happiness.
Matthieu shares the story of riding on a train in India in the darkness of night with his most sacred possession of a laptop and papers being stolen right in his midst so that he stripped bare and left with nothing but himself, and he laughed aloud, feeling the release of the true energy of happiness.
Jesus said don’t worry about the physical. Don’t worry about what you will consume in the flesh, relationships, intellect, or situations (what you will eat). Do not worry about what or who will attempt to consume you in shape, form, energy, or substance (what you will drink). Nor should you worry about struggle, stress or strife in the world (what you will wear). But instead be lifted in a consciousness that is not limited by the appearances of what you see in the flesh.
Happiness is the kingdom within that we must seek first.
By seeking happiness first, all else is provided through the pure consciousness of grace.
Only in this realm of grace, do we realize that happiness is always available.
Happiness doesn’t care about fat or skinny or short or tall or trans or bi- or gay or cis or weave or short or braids or brown or melanin or pale or ashy or blond or green or caramel or jew or hindu or mosque or temple or seventh day or buddhist or muscular or frail: it includes all, befriends all, cherishes all, loves all.
Happiness is the pure power of God that radiates a love that is so complete it forgives, it empowers, its uplifts, it anoints, it prospers, it saves, and it never looks back.
Too many of us have turned like Lot’s wife into pillars of salt that are so immobile in yesterday’s grief that we don’t even see or hear the prophesy of today’s good that is right in our faces, a good that never stops pouring like that widow’s oil of miracle, upon miracle, upon miracle.
Dig deep inside for the desire that called you before you were shaped in your mother’s womb, for that happiness that brought you into being and remember its face, its touch, its pull. This is the happiness that brought you to where you are today — to be included in the happiness that brings each and everyone of us to this moment — not merely just to do good but to do even greater things than have ever been done before.