Success, True Happiness and Freedom

Donald R. Yance, Jr., is the author of Herbal Medicine, Healing & Cancer and Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism: Elite Herbs and Natural Compounds for Mastering Stress, Aging, and Chronic Disease. I have read both of his books and have high respect for his ideals.

Yance is an internationally recognized expert in botanical and nutritional medicine and a Certified Nutritionist and Clinical Master Herbalist. He devoted his life to developing a unique approach to health and healing. An article in his website, is entitled Reflections on a Spirit-Filled Life. Let me share with you what he wrote.

  • There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t ask myself these two questions: “Where am I, and who am I?” These may seem simplistic, when considered as superficial queries. But my inquiry is rooted within the context of relationships: My relationship to my inner being and outer self, to others, to nature, to the universe, and to God, whose existence is found in all of these.
  • When we understand the interconnectedness of all of our relationships, we have the opportunity to experience a harmonious balance of spirit, heart, mind, and body.
  • All too often, we ignore spirit and heart and focus instead on the physical aspects of life, and the mind only as it relates to the goals of the material world.

What Is A Successful Life?

  • If something negative or tragic has occurred to us, it can draw us closer to God if we allow it to do so. I’ve often observed that a significant illness such as cancer rearranges priorities in life, and compels an individual to go within, to ask the important questions in life, and to find true balance.
  • Or it may be that we have experienced a sense of failure or disappointment. This can be a great means to true humility, which can also bring us closer to God.
  • My vision of success is to devote myself to healing; to facilitate union, harmony, and understanding; and to live by the light of respect and love for all.
  • In my quest, I humbly surrender myself to God. I desire to live in His presence and to be filled with Divine Love at all times. I have turned my life totally over to God, for He alone will I trust.

The Wise Use Of Freedom

  • We are given freedom so that we may make choices that will unite us with the Divine.
  • I must develop and use this freedom always to do what is good.
  • With the freedom to choose, I am always free to do more good and to bring myself closer to God, while serving and loving all of creation.
  • Our freedom to choose makes us susceptible to all types of false-self motives of purpose.
  • Our purpose must be the right purpose. Our conscience must teach us the right purpose. Conscience is the face of the soul, and the light that teaches and helps us to interpret the will of God in our lives.
  • I can only make good choices when I cultivate maturity, patience, and a wise conscience, so that I may have an accurate account of my motives, my intentions, and my moral acts. This is why a discipline of daily prayer is so essential. This is why reading the Gospels is so necessary.
  • In this way, we find ourselves truly happy knowing that our “doing” in life reflects our “being,” and that our being is a result of the freedom to pursue union with God. This is the fundamental purpose of life, to find God and to respond to God.

Happiness Comes From Letting Go

  • Most of us live our entire lives believing that happiness revolves around three main biological objective needs: (1) security and survival, (2) power and control, and (3) affection and esteem. But because the experience and presence of God is not found in these strivings, where do we go to find true happiness?
  • Most of us live either in our emotions or our intellect; … people who want power will always want power and will always want to dictate what is going on …
  • But if we put God at the center of our lives, and do our best to live in His light, we will find true peace and joy.

God also speaks to us through Nature. The more we learn about Nature, the more we learn about God. This is what St. Francis discovered and is what brought him such joy.

I’ve observed that most people carefully and quietly fit God into their lives, not allowing God to disrupt or alter in any way their strivings for what they believe will bring them happiness. But the simple truth is that there can be no true happiness unless we are willing to give ourselves completely and honestly to God. This requires us to let go, which few are willing to do.