July 4, 2016
Happiness and health go hand in hand. While our health can affect our happiness, our sense of happiness will definitely affect our health. So what really does it mean to be happy and how can be achieve this? I want to share with you some concepts on happiness from Fascinating Womanhood, by Helen Andelin, a really wonderful book that extols womanhood and calls us to higher ground.
Happiness–What is it?
Before we consider what it means to be happy, we need to look at what causes unhappiness? According to Helen Andelin, unhappiness “arises from a failure within the individual – weakness of character, sin, failure to fulfill responsibility, or self-centeredness. We are unhappy when we are doing something wrong, failing to do what is right, or in some way breaking the eternal laws of life. We become happy by overcoming our weaknesses, performing our duties, losing our self-centeredness, and putting ourselves in harmony with eternal laws.”
Inner happiness is a happiness of spirit, serenity, tranquility, and peace of soul that can carry you through the turmoil of life with a calm stability. Our life will not be free of problems and disappointments, but we will have the power to face these with calm.
Happiness & Pleasure
The difference between happiness and pleasure is as follows. Pleasure comes from the word please, thus pleasure is derived from things which please the senses, such as, sight, taste, hearing, and sensual feelings. There are both good and bad pleasures. Good pleasures come from wholesome things such as sunshine, rain, flowers, good food, laughter of children, fine art, scenery, and such. These enrich life and bring pleasure rather than happiness. Bad pleasures are derived from wrong doing and bring harm rather than good, such as improper food, alcohol, smoking, gambling, bad literature and movies, immoral sex. These are destructive to the body and spirit and should be avoided.
Happiness is quite different from pleasure in that, while pleasure comes from things which please the senses, happiness is not dependent on these things. For instance, the mother who desires a family must first know the pain of childbirth and then the tiresome labor to care for her children. Likewise, the father knows the weariness, pain, and toil in labor to provide for his family. Dedication to high goals brings struggle and opposition, but with it comes a newfound joy. Sometimes happiness comes as a result of knowing misery, sorrow, pain, and suffering. Pleasure may be derived from sin, while happiness arises from the struggle to overcome sin.
How to Gain Inner Happiness
Sometimes we hear the statement, “People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” There is some truth to this, but it is not entirely correct. A wicked person cannot be happy by merely determining to be, neither can anyone gain inner happiness by deciding to be happy. Inner happiness is a feeling which must be earned. … Inner happiness is acquired by following eternal laws. Robert Ingersoll said, “Happiness is the bud, the blossom, and the fruit of good and noble actions. It is not the gift of God. It must be earned.”
Remember the time you did something special for someone, gave them a gift, threw a surprise party, helped someone in need, said a kind word, gave encouragement? Afterwards you felt a sense of happiness. This is where happiness comes from – doing right. Helen continues on in Fascinating Womanhood, and lists the different things for women to do that will lead to happiness. She states, “Happiness comes from righteous living and the development of noble character. You can observe this by noticing that people who are truly happy are honest, unselfish, kind, responsible, and have high moral standards. People who are miserable tend to be immoral, dishonest, greedy, cruel, or in other ways dark in character.”
There is a lot of good information in this honest forth-right book, and we encourage every woman to read it. Herbs4You now carries Fascinating Womanhood and it is on sale this month, so stop on by and pick one up.
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Resources: Fascinating Womanhood, by Helen Andelin, pp. 244-248