“Everyone is struggling to attain happiness and avoid misfortune.”
This is the first sentence of the introduction to the book that shaped my childhood, The Divine Principle. I have long been in pursuit of happiness as are most of us in one way or another, but at some point (after several readings); I realized that this book holds the key, the formula for real long-term joy. Unfortunately, it is also a long, technical, difficult read, so the book itself is not really for everyone. However, I believe the principles in it are applicable to everyone regardless of faith or lack thereof.
So, instead of writing a book review and sending you all off to read a long, heavy book with complicated diagrams and big words (although if that’s your thing, go right ahead), I’m going to give to you the ultimate formula to joy right here. Why? Because the purpose of your life is to experience joy! And the world is in serious lack of just that right now.
So here it is:
Love yourself + Love others + Love your physical domain = True joy
Or, if you’re more Biblically centered, here’s the same thing with a little different wording:
Be fruitful + Multiply + Have dominion = Heaven on Earth
So what’s that supposed to mean?
Well, love yourself does NOT mean be an egotistical jerk. It means to love and accept yourself for who you are. Your mind and body work in harmony, so there is no guilt or shame, just love. It’s being able to look yourself in the mirror and smile because you the love the person that you are. Such a person always comes “bearing fruits” (figuratively, not literally) because they are blessing to be around.
Love others is all about your relationships, having loving, harmonious relationships with the people in your life. Your grandparents, parents, siblings, spouse, kids, friends, neighbors, etc. can all count depending on your age and life situation. Multiply the love y’all!
Third, we have love your physical domain however large or small that area may be. It means to be a kind and loving master over your surroundings, which can include your home, garden, pets, workplace, finances, and/or role in the community. It’s about having a sense of purpose and feeling in control of your life. It’s about taking care of the world we live in.
A lot of us tend to focus on one or two of these points in our own pursuit of happiness, but then there always seems to be a little tug in the back of our minds telling us that something is missing. It takes all three to really feel like you’re living in heaven on earth.
It’s a simple formula, but the reality is that it is hard. For me, forgiving, loving, and letting go of hatred and self-pity took a lot of time and tears. I started my journey as a fat, quiet, lonely preteen who just wanted to be seen (as terrifying as it was). Then, I prayed. I prayed and prayed and slowly but surely certain people entered my life to help pull me out of my dark hole until I became aware enough to start climbing out myself.
I am not perfect. I still have a long way to go, especially in the 3rd part of the equation, but I’ve come a long way and am now happier than I ever was back then. I’m sharing all this in the hopes that everything I’ve been through can somehow help someone else on their journey to happiness.
Take a look at the equation. Where do you think you are the weakest? Start there. Feel like you’re missing all three? Start with the first one. It’s hard. I know. I hated myself for years, but even taking the smallest step towards self-acceptance makes a world of difference for yourself and for the relationships you have with the people around you. I will be posting more resources that have helped me as time allows and if you have a resource that has helped you feel free to share it in a comment! The more the merrier 🙂