I received this interesting advice once: “If you want to be strong and protect yourself, all you need is inner-peace, happiness and forgiveness”. On the spot, it felt so general – because of course we all want to be happy, in peace and have no conflicts with anyone. However, then I looked into the real meaning of the above advice… the real meaning of those words… the real meaning of being at peace with yourself and the world, being happy and forgiving those that once harmed you.
And I had this epiphany because I was going through a phase of continuous conflict with myself and the world around me…and it was all because…in the end I could not find my peace. Even though I seemed peaceful and satisfied, deep inside I did not forgive myself for the mistakes I did in the past, I did not really forgive those that hurt me before and I wasn’t genuinely always happy. And then I realized…all this inner conflict, lack of forgiveness, lack of peace inside of me was making me ultimately unhappy.
I have this quality in being able to pose worry-free or happy, but a woman’s heart is indeed an ocean of secrets, of sorrows, of regrets. These are the things that keep you away from the great feeling of inner peace, of full satisfaction with your life and yourself.
It’s true that everybody is searching for a permanent contentment, but very few are finding inner peace. The real reason is that hardly anybody is interested in what it actually is. The difficulty is not that it is hidden, but that nobody is looking for it, and when it is seen, nobody recognizes it.
Moreover, it’s also true that we eventually find whatever we’re looking for, although there usually is some misunderstanding about what finding it will do for us. We work toward money, power or fame, and to the extent that we succeed, we notice it’s only temporarily satisfying, and we usually actually feel burdened by the potential of losing whatever we have gained. We look for the right partner to share our lives with and more often than not we encounter our own expectations in bold relief, and find ourselves burdened by the expectations of our partner. It all becomes a big lesson in what to avoid or what not to do rather than the fulfilling relationship that we imagined it would be. We find ourselves on a roller coaster of seeking, finding short term satisfaction, and then seeking another goal, and this is actually the best case scenario.
The problem is that we’re looking for a one-ended stick and there is no such thing. Whatever it is that we find satisfying is only experienced in contrast to what we find unsatisfying, and so we must be endlessly moving toward what we want and away from what we don’t want, and never resting at a place of satisfaction.
So while we can certainly get what we think we want, it always turns out to be impermanent, and so we’re destined to keep looking. But what if what we really want is not what we’ve been looking for, but something else? If that’s the case, we never find it simply because we’re not looking for it.
The reason inner peace is not looked for is that it cannot be understood, and the reason it is not found is that it is not looked for. It’s not that inner peace is hiding or that it is difficult to accomplish. It is, in fact, already here and simply is not recognized.
So what does it mean to find inner Peace? While it may sound like the goal is to locate something inside that we didn’t know was there, this isn’t really the case. What finding inner Peace actually is……. is a LOSS only. Sounds weird, right? But pause a second and think about this.
In the end, what finding happiness is about is finding inner Peace, and what inner Peace is about is LOSSING THE DISSATISFACTION that comes with your constant effort to SEEK happiness. What you actually want is not to acquire happiness, but to lose your suffering. Moreover, the loss that I’m talking about is loss of ignorance, of discomfort. It may not be an easy process, partly because the mind cannot understand the value of a loss, and partly because it doesn’t like losing anything.
Go to the place that brings you most calm and you love the most. For example, mine is by the sea. Try to think of what is creating you discomfort, what bothers you, and once you know what it is, realize it is not worth making you that miserable, see the good in it, do not try to think at it as a disturbing factor, but as an experience. Train your mind to ignore more of the discomfort it sends to the heart, take things easier. However, once you train your mind to stop always worrying about the next move, about tomorrow, about real happiness, and acknowledging the beauty of the present (with everything it brings), the gift of the things we have and surround us, the inner peace settles in. And, believe me, where inner peace settles, other good things come together.
Give it a shot! Summertime helps in enjoying the present day, the sun, the warmth, the things we have been blessed to live and experience! I have personally started this experiment and the truth is, it works :).