When my husband was on earth, here and there in our daily life he would drop one word or one sentence that was very meaningful to me. I could chew on it for days.
I remember him saying that “HAPPINESS IS A LIFE WELL LIVED.”
How then do we create a beautiful life?
He also quoted Socrates’ constant question, “how to live the good life?” He said that the good life is accomplished if you live a virtuous life, if you live according to the virtues. This was the Greeks’ simple formula for ethical conduct.
In my experience in building a meaningful happy relationship with Dietrich, a life well lived was a life where we loved our neighbors. Service to others brought us happiness, caring for the world brought deep emotions towards each other. We knew that praying for others not only brought relief to the person prayed for, but deep joy in our soul.
Sometimes the closest neighbor was the spouse we had to love when we could not, but did. Sometimes it was the prodigal son or daughter, we thought is lost forever.
We cannot make happiness on other people’s misery. The happiness of your child comes before your own. You cannot leave your family. This would be misery instead of happiness.
In other words, what brings a couple together is not only sex, but a common goal rooted in committed love. It is being willing to make sacrifices for the betterment of the marriage and family, and every day making choices by discerning right from wrong, good from evil, sacred from profane
So to live well means constantly making the right choices, by developing our character according to the virtues and according to God’s principles until we become each other’s true love. We can never separate from each other as happy families make a happy world.
We were not part of the “ME First” culture, but doing things together for others we were better lovers, and we gave True Love to each other. We did create a beautiful life worth living. This is our secret treasure for eternity.
Your friend, Elisabeth Seidel
PS: Here is Dr. Tyler Hendricks’ talk on Happiness. Dietrich and Tyler were colleagues at the Unification Theological Seminary and good friends. I hope you enjoy this presentation on “The Path to Happiness.”