When Happiness Feels Elusive

June 4, 2023

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Attaining happiness can feel elusive and complicated. Maintaining happiness can seem impossible.  

And that can be so intensely frustrating.  I’ve been asking Spirit to teach me about happiness and I’ve been learning a lot.  

One of my favorite things is working with people who feel unhappy and depressed and seeing them apply themselves to a spiritual practice and shift everything in their lives to the point where they are happy and they’re inspired to help others do the same things.

One thing I can see is that it makes sense that happiness can seem so difficult to attain and maintain. After all, if we don’t know the TRUE cause of happiness, of course we’re going to look in all the wrong places and all the wrong faces to find it.  Duh! 

Fortunately, we can shift our habits and patterns of the past much faster than we realize.  We can learn to look for happiness where it can be found.  And therein lies our Freedom and also our Prosperity.

The causes of happiness and unhappiness are hidden in plain sight.  They stare us in the face all day every day, but we’re so used to them that we’re inured to them.  We don’t see them at all.  It’s as if they don’t exist for us.  

Part of why we don’t see the causes of happiness is because we don’t actually know what we’re looking for.  

When I was in my teens and twenties I thought that happiness came from these things:

A good job
Good boyfriend
Good apartment
Good friends
Good body

And then, of course, there were qualifiers for each of those.  For example, a good job has to have good pay, good opportunities for growth, prestige, fun, great co-workers.  

When the causes of happiness are conditional, there are always qualifiers and then the happiness can be snipped away in an instant the very moment those conditions change.  

It’s hard to be happy when things could change at any moment.

We see these dramas played out 24/7 on the screen of life.  Over and over again in our day to day we see happiness come and go because happiness is conditional.  

I’ve found it EXTREMELY helpful to look at some of the aspects of the Science of Mind teachings of Ernest Holmes.  For instance, he talks about emotions as being different than feelings.  Emotions are temporary and the direct result of our thinking and beliefs and feelings are more of a spiritual nature.  Think of a feeling tone – a vibration vs an emotion.

Consider happiness as an emotion and Joy, with a capital J, being a feeling, but more importantly, I have come to recognize Joy as a spiritual quality that is omnipresent and available for us to express and reveal.  Spiritual qualities are always available to us – they are eternal expressions of the Divine Nature such as:


Emotions are the result of our thoughts which are magnetized into our awareness by our beliefs because like attracts like.  Spiritual qualities are aspects of our Divine Nature.

Happiness is fleeting and conditional.
Joy is unconditional.

It’s not the precise teaching of ACIM, but it feels aligned and has been very helpful to me.  

Let’s do the math.
Love is not conditional.  
As Shakespeare said so well, “love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.”
If our happiness does not come from Love, then it is temporary like the house built on sinking sands.  

When my mother was so sick before she laid her body down and shuffled off the mortal coil, life was very intense and the appearances could be the cause of much distress.  Yet, because there was so much Love being expressed, given and received, I felt this pervasive unconditional Joy despite all the gruesome appearances. 

And that helped me to really KNOW that happiness and Joy are different.  
Happiness is conditional and therefore fleeting.
Joy is a by-product of living in alignment with Love.

Most people who experience fleeting bits of happiness don’t even realize that the main reason that they’re feeling happy is that they’ve bought the illusion that they have the thing that will make them happy, and, in the having of it, they are no longer wanting.

Really catch this because it’s been life-changing for me:
For most people, a momentary cessation of wanting is perceived as happiness.
It’s the temporary belief that “I have what I want, and therefore I want for nothing” that seems to cause the happiness, but it’s actually the laying aside of wanting, the belief in having, that causes the happiness.

All things work together for good and there are no exceptions except in the opinion of the ego.  

When we perceive that the conditions for our happiness are not where we are, we are making exceptions.

A Course in Miracles Workbook Lesson 64 reminds us that our function is to BE the light of the world.  It also makes it very plain and breaks it down:

Only by fulfilling the function given you by God will you be happy.  That is because your function is to be happy by using the means by which happiness becomes inevitable. There is no other way.  Therefore, every time you choose whether or not to fulfill your function, you are really choosing whether or not to be happy. 

It comes down to our choice.  
It always does.
We can cry victim, but our choices are the instruments of happiness.

Our function is to choose Love and live a life of Love.
That’s our purpose.  To BE the Light that we are.
When we’re choosing Love, extending Love, willing to see only Love, and teach only Love, then we’re in perfect alignment and Joy is our natural state.

There’s a spiritual practice that we can implement that will help us to break these very sticky habits of thinking happiness is conditional.  You have to do it for it to work, you cannot just read about it.  It’s about being really, truly willing to consistently choose Love.

If you could listen to audios and read books in order to attain happiness, you’d already be there, right? This healing, this transformation, it requires real effort. 

When we effort and it doesn’t go the way we think it should, we can draw the conclusion that healing doesn’t work for us – it works for others, but not for us and that’s simply not true.  Don’t ever give up.  Please trust me on that one.  I’m so very grateful I didn’t give up.

I have two radio show episodes that I’ve done that may be helpful to you – one is called Resistance to Happiness and the other is called Reluctance to Heal.  Both are in the podcast for my radio show and both have been transcribed, so you can find every part of it here at LivingACourseinMiracles.com.  

I Love you and I thank God for you.  We bless each other with our willingness to rise in Spirit and come back into our right minds.  Together we truly are answering our call to BE the Love.  YES!  

It’s not too late!  Class TODAY – Moving out of the stress of fearful imaginings and anchoring into the truth of our spiritual life is what our Change Your Mind About Your Body Program is all about.  It’s about breaking the habit of believing we’re a body, and believing that we’re not good enough to be loved.  It’s about getting to the root cause of our suffering over our bodies.

We’re just getting started: If changing your mind about your body is of interest, check out our new program – Change Your Mind About Your Body using A Course in Miracles principles – this is a 5 month program with a long list of great ACIM teachers including Alan Cohen, Lisa Natoli, Gary Renard, Jon Mundy, Bill Free, Cindy Lora Renard, Corinne Zupko and more!  

Follow your guidance, and if Spirit leads you to join us I’ll be so very happy to welcome you!  No matter what, we remember that we’re entitled to miracles.

Join me for an adventure in Europe – a CAMINO WALK in October: If you’re interested in learning more about my Camino adventure and joining me in Portugal and Spain. Click here now for more info. We only have a few spots left!

NEW PODCAST EPISODE!  The most recent episode of my podcast’s topic is Our Salvation Is Here. Our salvation is right in front of us to recognize and accept. Let’s speed things up and eliminate the causes of suffering!


ACIM, daily prayer, Healing, Inspiration, Jennifer Hadley, Living A Course in Miracles, love, miracles, Peace, prayer, Spirituality

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