“My late husband had been my source of care, happiness, love, and confidence. After I lost him, I slowly realized that I needed to find all these qualities within myself. This was the beginning of my trajectory from widow to an empowered human being. I began to transform my life from surviving to thriving.” – Grace Liang from Finding Grace
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Now after walking with God for more than a year, I have come to realize there is a journey to true happiness, peace and joy we are all on.
First Level/Step: Dependence on Parents/Society.
As a child, our happiness depended on our parents/caretaker and what society thought about us. Do our parents love us? Are we popular among our peers? Do we survive the tests we are given?
In this step, our happiness depends on how our parents/caretaker/society treat us.
Second Level/Step: Dependence on partner/spouse or kids.
We grow up and then get married (or sometimes remain single). Our dependence on our parents is replaced by dependence on our partner or spouse. If we have kids during this journey, our kids often also become our source of our happiness too.
In this step, our happiness depends on how our spouse/kids and society treat us. Does our spouse really love us? Do we have a good job? What do others think about us? How is our kid or kids doing?
Third Level/Step: Dependence on ourselves.
Most people never reach this step or don’t want to reach this step because they are too afraid of loneliness. Whether it was willingly, or unwillingly, we eventually found out that true happiness can’t come from others or things because people can die on you or can hurt you. So in this step, it is all about replacing other’s love with self-love. How do you know when you have self-love? Well, when you enjoy being alone but don’t feel lonely and you don’t believe that you need someone (a man, a child, society, etc.) to love you in order to be complete anymore.
In this step, our happiness depends on how we view ourselves. We rediscover who we are and find our new life purpose. We aren’t living for a spouse, for our kid, for anyone or anything else but ourselves. We still love our loved ones very much but we don’t depend on their love to be happy.
Fourth Level/Step: Dependence on God.
This is the most difficult step to reach. If you are in the first two steps and have been disappointed or been hurt a lot by others/society (which has happened to us all), it would obviously make sense to not fully depend on God, right? If you are in step three, you have learned that you can only truly depend on yourself so it becomes harder (especially for high achievers) to now drop all of our control to fully depend on God.
In this step, our happiness comes from God and it doesn’t depend on how we perform. Even when we are not so lovable, not so successful, not so pretty, not so nice, not so useful…He still loves us. No matter what our parents, spouse, or kids say about us, we know who we are in the eyes of Jesus and that is the rock foundation of our peace and joy every day.
In our human wisdom, step three is our final goal to happiness where we can live up to our human potential fully. But in God’s wisdom, step four is where we all belong. This is where we will not only be the best of ourselves but also can release God’s power to help us do what we are NOT capable of doing.
Jealous of other’s good luck? There is no good luck, only alignment with God’s will. The first 3 levels are when Life happens TO Us. The fourth level is truly when Life happens FOR Us! God’s will is also the source of power for the Law of Attraction.