A Letter of Love from Above (The Virtue of Happiness)

Are you truly happy?

Note: “Letters of Love from Above” will be a series of letters that I would imagine a loving Heavenly Father might write to you, His dear child. If you are uncomfortable with that notion, imagine Life, or The Universe, Truth or Karma, Mother Earth, Mother Teresa, or Mother Goose, for that matter, is writing the letter. But for me, it is a loving God reaching down to His sons and daughters as I would imagine that reach looking like in words.

 

My Dear Child,

Are you happy? Are you truly, really, deeply happy? Can you experience what might be called Soul Satisfaction? Are you at peace?

Is your heart filled with love? Do you wake up grateful for the opportunity to live yet another day? Are you driven to make a difference? Are you growing and developing and stretching as you pursue a good life? Do you enjoy your life and feel blessed to be alive?

I want that for you more than you can possibly know. I want you to wake up excited about life, hopeful for your future, in love with those around you, living a life of purpose, meaning, joy and goodness.

Do you wonder why I care so much about your happiness? Perhaps you have heard that all I care about is how good or obedient you are. Well, it’s true that I care about your goodness and your willing adherence to eternal truths.

Life is simply lived better that way. You can then steer clear of moral and spiritual obstacles and the needless heartache that accompanies falling off moral cliffs with all the attendant spiritual and emotional ramifications of such falls.

But I also care very deeply about the amount of joy you experience. I care about your happiness.

And for two very good reasons.

1. You are my child, made in my image.

How could I not care about your happiness? My perfect love for you yearns for it. My love drives my desire that you live an elevated life of joy.

But happiness exists only at the end of correct principles applied correctly. In other words, I can’t cause your happiness without violating My nature, eternal principles and universal Truths.

I won’t frustrate the very purpose of your existence here. That would make me less than I Am. It would also prevent you from becoming all that you can become.

You are here to learn, to grow, to practice living a good life, after all. I can point the way, of course, but can’t give you what you didn’t earn.

Otherwise, your happiness would be but a false image of something that needs to become a living part of you, the natural expression of who you are, to have any lasting power.

To give you happiness as an unearned and undeveloped gift is to paint you something you haven’t yet become.

It would be like giving you an income without a job or muscles without exercise, or wisdom without experience or knowledge without effort. The foundation to sustain the gift would never be developed. And so the gift would ultimately crumble to ashes.

I would not rob you of the growth that precedes happiness as it’s properly sought. As you work on your happiness, you evolve, you develop, you change. You become something you weren’t. Your personality is refined and your character is honed.

Only then can you become a happy person, rather than just a person who periodically experiences happiness.

Do you see the difference?

A person who experiences happiness is dependent on life circumstances that arrange themselves such that you are made happy. Outside forces deliver the happy moment.

But a happy person takes their happiness into life’s experiences, internalizing the principles of happiness, living them even when life’s circumstances don’t arrange themselves so happily.

So, I can guide you, inspire you, comfort and strengthen you on your journey when you feel vulnerable, weak or lost. But I can’t produce inside of you what you haven’t created.

As my child, I want what is best for you. And happiness is certainly best for you. But it can only be developed, not gifted, not created from nothing, not poured into you like so much water poured into a flask.

(Follow this link to read more about 7 basic habits that are commonly shared by the happiest people)

But there’s another reason I care so much about how happy you are.

2. Happiness is more than an emotional good; Happiness is a moral good.

Here’s the truth no one likes to say out loud: Happy people are more likely to be good people.

Happy people tend to be more patient and loving, more generous, giving and kind.

Happy people are better children and better parents than their unhappy counterparts. They are more likely to be better employers and employees, better grandparents, friends and neighbors.

Happy parents, for example, don’t yell at their children as much. They are more patient, spend more time with them and are kinder to their children than depressed, anxious, frustrated or chronically angry parents.

Happy parents have the emotional wherewithal to be in the moment with and for their kids, enjoying them, focused on them, teaching them, loving them, forgiving them, being patient with their missteps, overlooking their idiosyncrasies, celebrating their accomplishments, creating a safe place for them to fall down, mess things up and otherwise falter on their way to mastery, improvement, growth and maturity.

It’s not that unhappy people are bad people, mind you, but that they do not have the emotional presence to deal effectively with frustrating circumstances.

And so happy people are more likely to raise happier children who will more likely than not, raise happier children in turn, who then will have a greater likelihood of living more rewarding lives doing more good to more people.

I hope you can now clearly see the connection, that happiness is more than a happiness thing. It’s more than feelings. It’s more than an issue that merely affects your emotional state. It’s more than a personal issue of the heart.

It’s a moral issue. It’s a character issue.

Happiness affects how we think and how we act. It affects our relationships, our productivity and our ability to to see and care about the needs of others.

Unhappy people are paradoxically consumed with themselves, which is an inherently selfish way to live. The world revolves around them, their feelings, how others are treating them, how others are responsible for their unhappiness.

Happy people, on the other hand, are more giving, more compassionate, more charitable, and more loving.

People treat others worse when they are unhappy. They treat others better when they are filled with joy.

It is easier being married to a happy person than a depressed or angry one. It is easier being the son or daughter of a happy dad than it is to an angry father.

Homes are filled with an entirely different spirit when parents are fulfilled, satisfied, confident, loving and kind—all components of a happy life.

There is, therefore, a moral obligation I place on you to seek out happiness, to search for the principles upon which happiness is the natural outcome, and to actively work to develop those traits and characteristics within you.

(Click here to read about those character traits that are needed for a happy life)

A Nudge, Not a Judgement

Please don’t interpret this letter as a guilt trip. I know that some will. But I can’t hide the truth because some may read into it what I never intended.

This is a letter of motivation. It is a map that places your happiness at its center. It is a light in the flickering darkness boldly proclaiming that life was never meant to stay dark.

It is a nudge in the right direction, one that accepts the reality of life—that happiness matters tremendously, that your happiness matters tremendously, and that it matters because I care about you and because I care about those who interact with you.

And so I want you to be happy for your own sake … and for others’.

Here to Help

But as you seek joy, don’t forget that I am here to help guide you along the way.

I will unfold the path to happiness as you step out into the dimly lit path that leads to it. I will inspire you and uplift you and remind you and take you by the hand to lead you to more happiness than you ever thought possible.

Have faith in Me and you will find the power to have more faith in yourself.

It’s Your Mountain to Climb

But you have to do the walking. You have to do the climbing. You can’t pray for happiness, then sit on the couch watching TV until I come to your front door and hand you the gift.

It can’t work that way.

But as you develop the traits that produce happiness, you’ll realize you would never truly want it in any other way.

It will take work. Sometimes you will want to give up. Your heart may ache. Your mind may hurt. Your soul may gasp for air.

But remember, your path to happiness is taking you through rough territory, on a journey to self-discovery, self-mastery, and self-development. You are forging a character. And character is only ultimately forged in the furnace of great heat.

I will lighten your burden as you reach out to me and ask for guidance, but your spiritual and moral and emotional muscles must be exercised, developed and strengthened as you do the work of happiness.

Please don’t be too discouraged as you do that work, because it is work. Just as physical muscles don’t grow over night, so emotional maturity, spiritual awareness, character development, and happiness takes time too.

So be patient and take it a step at a time.

A Promise

In the end, as you pursue more happiness by developing greater patience, love, forgiveness and kindness, find more purpose and meaning in your life, and fill your thoughts will gratitude, the door to your happiness will open.

You will then see the glimmer of sunlight. And then you will be able to open what may have been locked or only partially seen by you before. Then the door to happiness will be flung open widely. Then you will see clearly what you have been missing all along.

And then you will be truly, really, deeply happy.

I care passionately about your happiness. Now you know why. I hope that matters to you. But more importantly, I hope you do something about it.

I’ll be waiting behind that door for you when you come knocking.

With more Love than you can imagine,
Father.

(Please let me know what you think in the comments below)

Photo credit