Why Can't I Be Happy?

The most amazing message I ever received in the Conversations with God dialogue consisted of six words. In just a half dozen sounds I was given everything I needed to know about the experience I was having on the earth.

I was in a deep place of wondering why, up to that point, my life was not bringing me the happiness I was seeking, even though I was almost always doing work that I loved to do, being with significant others that I loved to be with, and enjoying a family that I loved to enjoy.

"What is wrong with me?" I asked God. "Why can't I be happy???"

"It's all very simple," God said. "You think your life is about you."

I wanted to know what God meant. What was God saying? Then I heard the six words that changed my life,

"Your life is not about you."

Then who, pray tell, is it about? I wanted to know.

"Your life is about everyone whose life you touch," God told me. "And it is about how you touch them. How you touch them determines how you experience your Self--and how you experience your Self determines how happy you are."

In this sense, my life was about me...but in a "reverse English" kind of way. I was to pay attention to myself by paying attention to others. I was to help myself evolve by helping others evolve. The fastest way for me to be happy was for me to make other people happy.

Now before I go any further, a caveat, please. This does not mean that you must focus on making other people happy to the exclusion of yourself. When making another happy is at the cost of you being unhappy, you are defeating your own purpose. So we are not talking here about rolling over and playing dead, or turning yourself into a carpet to be walked all over.

If another person will simply not receive the gifts you find joy in giving--or worse yet, receives them and takes advantage of them, then treats you without respect or kindness--you may wish to continue giving to that person, but in another way. Such as, for instance, giving them their freedom to pursue a close-knit relationship with another.

There are nearly 7 billion people in the world, and you are not required to continue endless giving to a person who does not value, appreciate, or honor your gift. Of course, you are not offering your gifts in order to be honored. You are offering your gifts in order to experience and express a part of yourself that speaks of who you are. Yet if who you are is not valued, but ignored or abused, then you actually hurt, rather than help, the person to whom you are giving your gift--for you have taught them that the way to continue receiving the best from others is to return their worst. And this is not something that you want to teach anybody. It is actually unkind to teach someone this.

But do not worry. As I said, the world is filled with people, and my life experience has shown me that the vast, vast majority of human beings receive gifts with gratitude, and act as wonderful mirrors for those who offer them.

There is a reason that taking the focus off of myself and placing on others has worked so effectively in changing my life. And we will pick up this discussion there next week.

Hugs and love,



Naybird 24th October 2012 3:30 pm

Thank you Neale for sharing this. In my young adult life, I ran into the problem of allowing myself to be a door mat. This was very damaging and I became bitter. Later in life I read that no one can make you happy, that responsibility belongs to the individual. So I focused on myself and have since been accused (by the same folks who treated me like a door mat) of being self absorbed. So what you have shared helps me to realize that I simply need to set free those that take advantage and allow myself to be who I am without holding back for fear of creating a low self worth.

Thank you again.



ikechukwu 2nd January 2013 10:34 am

isnt it interesting to know that one is what one gives. and what one gives tells one who he is. jesus did not arbitrarily proclaim himself the son of God. he asked his disciples and peter said it. you can know who you are by the radiance of joy in the eyes of your wife and children at the sight of you, by the relieve in the face of your boss as you enter the office.by the smile of recoggnition from neighbours and siblings.at least from some of them.the fact is so long as you act with the intention to give your best you can never lose.
thnks neale


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Author Information

Neale Donald Walsch

Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now famous conversation with God.


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