On the inside: July 17, 2016
Where does your happiness and inner peace come from? Are you happy? If yes, is your happiness dependent on others? Do you have true inner peace? Do you feel truly fulfilled? Perhaps the feeling of true inner peace and happiness is one not known to you.
In thinking back on my life, I spent 52 of the last 53 years looking for happiness and inner peace outside myself. I was looking for inner peace and happiness in another person and in material possessions. Guess what? None of that worked. It all gave me a false sense of happiness and inner peace. It wasn’t until this last year of my life that I have come to realize that true inner peace, happiness, and fulfillment come from within. People and possessions only brought me temporary happiness and peace.
It seems we have a tendency to put pressure on others to make us happy and complete us. We tend to have expectations of others, placing responsibility on them for our happiness or lack thereof, and therefore blaming them when we are unhappy or lack peace in our lives. It is easy to have a smile when everything is going well. You have a husband, wife, or significant other in your life. You have a credit card with unlimited spending. You do not lack for material possessions. Ask yourself, would you be happy, fulfilled, and have true inner peace if you were alone? Would you be happy, fulfilled, and have true inner peace if you did not have material things such as a nice car and nice home.
I just knew I could not be happy if I were single. I was scared to death of being single. I was afraid I would grow old alone. The past year and a half of being alone has really taught me that everything I need, I already have. It has taught me that I am responsible for my own inner peace, fulfillment, and happiness. It has taught me that when we look to external sources for our happiness, we set ourselves up to be unhappy. By looking outside myself for someone or something to complete me, I was implying that I wasn’t good enough. I am now in a beautiful space of fulfillment, love, happiness, and inner peace. It is a space that I continue to nurture through prayer, meditation, and other methods of feeding my spirit.
Matthieu Ricard defined true happiness as a deep sense of flourishing that arises from an exceptionally healthy mind. It doesn’t arise from another person. It doesn’t arise from material possessions. It arises from within us. Here are some ways that have worked for me to keep my mind healthy.
- Stay optimistic: Optimism is essential to emotional health
- Don’t take things personal: NOTHING others say or do is about you.
- Meditate: Practice sitting quietly for 15 minutes a day to observe your thoughts
- Be Grateful: I like to start my day being positive and grateful. It flips the switch from negative thinking to looking for the positive.
What I have learned is that by getting to a place of not needing, it opened up space for someone else to come into my life that I could share my inner peace and wholeness with. Making sure I was whole and complete allowed me to bring my A game to everyone else. I no longer feel the need to have someone in my life to complete me but instead desire someone to share my journey with. There is a difference between need and desire. You too are enough. You too are whole and complete all by yourself. It is my hope that you will find that wholeness and inner peace. It is my hope that you will feel that happiness, fulfillment, and inner peace that is completely independent of other people and things.
Thanks so much for taking time again to read my thoughts. I hope they resonate with you on some level. I would be so grateful for your feedback. Just click in the leave a reply box and share your experience for us all to learn and grow together. See you next Sunday for my Weekly Sunday Blog.
Peace and blessings