The Road to Happiness


“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

When my children were young, I really had no choice. My life revolved around my family and there was little time for much else. Between working part time, the house work, meals and playtime, I was focused on being the best mom I possibly could.

As my two children grew and became more independent, it occurred to me that I was not needed as much. They started to have their own lives, friends and activities and many times I ended up being just a taxi service and meal maker. Of course I reminded them to wear clean clothes, shower and brush their teeth, but they were good kids and I didn’t need to remind them all that much.

So what to do with myself? A mild depression in my late thirties and early forties caused me to seek the advice and wisdom of a good therapist. After much soul searching and aimless wandering, it became obvious to me that the best way to live life to its fullest was to find a cause I love- and volunteer for it.

So over the years I have learned from and worked with families affected by addiction. When I mention my recovery friends occasionally I am not sure you can feel it, but there is whole hearted love and respect there from me. There is no monetary reward for doing this work, no green carrot dangling at the end of the stick. No contract with a financial reward as possible gain, just plain and simple good deeds done for people who need help.

What do I get in return for this? Nothing financial but a priceless spiritual opportunity.

It fills me up inside with a feeling I cannot describe when I work with families in need. I give them unconditional love and they in return grow and flourish. It takes so little time really, and the rewards are amazingly great.

If you are looking to get a little more meaning and happiness out of life, consider picking a cause and then volunteering your time even in small and simple ways. It doesn’t take much to help make a difference. And you will absolutely love how it makes you feel.

Thanks to my daughter Michelene for her stunning sunflower photo!

Is there a cause you support? Tell us about it!

Join me on my graceful journey.

13 Replies to “The Road to Happiness”

  1. I help others when I can. The sad thing is that now, when I am the one needing support, I am not feeling it. It may be there and I may look back on this one day and say..WOW! Thank God I had it! I can’t attend Alanon meetings…there simply is not the time with taking care of these 4 little ones. I tried an online group, but it wasn’t working well for me. Maybe when school starts and 3 of them will be gone during the day, I can actually sit at my computer for more than a few minutes and ‘attend’ one!
    It does feel good when you can uplift someone when things are not looking so bright. Right now my ‘project’ is this family!

  2. Hi Joanne, I have heard so often from families, early on in the recovery process, that they hesitate to call, or ask for help, for fear they may be “bothering” us. I was probably a bit like that myself at one time. However, quite the opposite is true. As you said, the rewards are great for both of us. I think it gives a newcomer on this journey the courage to reach out for help when he or she realizes that we reap just as much as they do. It is indeed a very rewarding experience for everyone. I know, I felt so much better when someone said to me…” you are helping me to grow when you ask for help!” Your post inspired me today!

  3. Though I am breaking every rule in the business industry, I always seem to find someone at work who needs a good word from God. And I give it…rules or no, I take the time (no matter how long) with a customer or co-worker, and minister my little heart all aglow. It’s true, I don’t get paid money for it, and if truth be told could possibly lose what money I do get paid for my job there if I were caught all the times I’ve done it (I always believe God puts me in a secret bubble at that moment), but afterward, I feel warm and elated that I’ve done something truly worth while that day. And if one of them returns to say how much I helped them, then my soul expands more in the fullness of God at that moment. In fact, Though I’ve said to God that I hope he doesn’t want to keep me there forever because I’ve helped some people here and there, because I am hoping to continue to inspire and minister to others through my art, and be able to leave the job I’m at now. Fingers crossed 😉

    Your post has so much insight into the benefits of caring for others. You’ve done wonders aching souls. Thank you for sharing, Joanne.

    Marianne xo

    1. Marianne, I swear you should find a job where you CAN minister to people, and foster your love of art. Somewhere there is a position meant for you. I will pray on it- ask God for assistance- so you may be placed in the hearts of many more. Watch for signs. I am going to ask for them! xo Joanne

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