By: John Rodgers
Not so many years ago, (probably 20) there was a very popular TV commercial for Spaghetti sauce by Prego, where they kept repeating “It’s in there!” The point was to continually reinforce to the doubter that everything necessary for a perfect tasting sauce was indeed inherent in this product. Humanity was saved once again by a marketing genius. No longer would we spend countless hours at the supermarket searching and searching for the perfect sauce. Never again need we create that awful mess in the kitchen that follows the hours of toil creating sauce from “scratch”. Prego put it all “In there”.
In recent years I’ve come to realize that the product of my life-long quest will never be found in the places I spent years looking. The product I am discussing has many names. Some call it grace, others peace, while it is also known as serenity, contentment, wholeness, fulfillment, and love. The simplest term that resonates with everyone is “happiness”. We are all searching for happiness. There isn’t a living breathing entity that does not desire happiness, (providing it can feel emotion).
When we buy a new car, it’s not for the speed, or the look, or the economy, but for the happiness we think we will experience from those features. New clothes are not for fit, the look or the feel, but for the happiness we will derive from wearing them. When we buy a house, choose a mate, pick a house of worship, the components, features and benefits are all directed toward bringing us to the ever elusive place in our minds we call “happy”. For much of my life “happy” was like the proverbial, “carrot-on-a-stick”. It was always just out of reach. I thought becoming an adult and breaking free of the bondage of parents would get me there. Then I figured finding a mate and settling down would be the ticket. After that I expected that the right job would be the key, then I knew once I became a dad, or joined a church, etc, etc, etc, ad-infinitum! One could get discouraged, and be prompted to exclaim, “Where’s the beef?” (Any one get the impression I am a product of television?)
Well it seems that I have been looking in the wrong place. It also seems that the more I want something, the further from my reach it appears to be. I have been hoping that the wonderful “OZ” would help me find my way if I met his requirements, and brought him the wicked witches broom, (TV again). Well, I’ve gotten the broom and still no reward. I have figured out that the guy up on the screen is only me behind the curtain, and I have had the power to go home all along in my shoes, if I only click my heels and repeat “there’s no place like home”.
Coming to the realization that the Spirit of God lives within my being, and understanding all that is, is for a purpose, has shown me that accepting every component of life as it unfolds, “IS” happiness. I kept looking for outside conditions to bring me to happiness. I kept chasing, and running from the wicked witch. Truth be told that which I seek, I already have and had no need to look so hard. When you look out the window you don’t see what’s in the house, and that is where home is.
We are all diverse expressions of Divine Spirit. We are God expressing God in a countless variety of forms. Accepting this allows us to realize happiness (no matter what the outside conditions are). The contradiction I have lived with is that looking within and finding happiness brings about the outer conditions that reflect it. I always tried to put the cart before the horse, living life backward. The truth I have found is that everything I need to be blissfully happy is inside.
“It’s In There” life is an inside job! God lives in our hearts and minds. Happiness is a realization found through an acceptance of life unconditionally. The search is over and I have found that my prize was in my pocket all along. POSITIVELY SPEAKING, IT’S IN THERE!