The Secret to Happiness

I ordered a gift subscription to an inspirational magazine for my great aunt last year.  I signed myself up for their email newsletter as well.  Free spiritual advice and inspiration? Why not?

Over the year, I’ve amassed quite a collection of unread inspirational emails.  Their subject lines lure me enough to prevent deleting them, but not to click and read.  Usually, I save them to read at another time when I can devote my undivided attention to them.  We know how that usually goes.  It would be better to do a cursory review, pausing on a point that piqued my interest, rather than not at all.  Plus, most times, the title is the most appealing part of the missive, much like a short story that does not live up to the promises its title made to its readers, which I would find out if I took two seconds to glance at it.

Still, I let the siren song of one entitled “The Secret to Happiness” captivate me and I clicked – not right away, but the other day I finally did.  There’s a simple secret to happiness?  Do tell.  I must apply this magic solution as a salve to my weary soul.  My cynical side did cry out, saying it’s a spiritual newsletter, you dolt.  Of course, they mean to pray and worship and turn everything over to God – like you’ve been avoiding doing, but know you should.  You already know the secret to happiness, but refuse to do anything about it.  But, like most weak humans, I would much rather find a simple solution outside myself than do any real work inside myself.  I viewed the video expectantly.


Surprisingly, there was no explicit reference to spirituality except for one man’s personal testament in which he cited Jesus Christ as his Savior.  However, there were allusions to spirituality all over it; transcendent precepts such as gratitude, thoughtfulness, mindfulness, treating others as you’d like to be treated.  By not directly referring to it, the filmmakers even more strongly prove that spirituality must be woven into the fabric of everything we do, every interaction.  It must be innate, unconscious.  It will lead us to things like gratitude, which apparently is the secret to happiness.

The day that I watched the video, I had tried three times to get a snarky post out of my system.  While not full-strength, there was still some venom bubbling in my veins from residual stress and I wanted to purge it.  But the fits and starts of writing and watching of this video gave me pause.  Maybe what I needed to get it out of my system was to shift my mindset and get grateful!  Being so gosh-darn cranky, I wasn’t feeling it and I sure as hell didn’t feel like writing a letter to the person I was most grateful for, let alone calling them to read it.  But maybe just the shift in the current, the river rock blocking the stream, can divert enough to at least create the space for a change.

However, if in the meantime you should come across any quick-fix secrets to happiness, let me know 😉

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  1. happycat13

     /  November 14, 2013

    If I figure out a quick-fix I will share it with the world. Escaping to the hiking trails is as close as I have discovered thus far. It would be awesome if there was a 0 to 60 mph in three seconds solution!


    • Jennifer Butler Basile

       /  November 15, 2013

      Time outdoors is definitely soothing. I’ll watch for your quick fix!



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