Last week I decided to take a personal retreat day to explore something that I have pondered for quite some time. What is the secret to true happiness? I went to a retreat center, meditated, exercised, lay on the beach, ate my favorite food, and read inspiring books written by my friends. During the same day I smiled at playful children, observed people holding loving hands, bought a new lipstick and dress, got my hair done, and talked to friends and family. All of this was great and I felt really good, but when I got home I still questioned: What is the secret to true happiness?
All around my apartment I have small note cards that read, "Happiness Must Be Grown in One's Own Garden." Throughout my life I have looked for happiness through family, personal relationships, jobs, travel, material things, etc. And though I do believe that many people find and receive happiness from people, places, and things it is important to ask an important question. What would happen to that happiness if we were not privileged to have those people, places, and/or things around us? For me, having a relationship with God, Jesus, and Spirit is allowing me to understand that this life goes beyond my thoughts, things, desires, and personal relationships. God gives us peace, love, contentment, joy, and purpose that allows us the capacity to tap into a life of true happiness that is sustained not just for an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade.
Having a relationship with God allows us the ability to nurture a level of internal peace and joy that can be sustained for a lifetime.