it just doesn’t matter to me. being happy.
i mean, there are happy moments. and i love happy moments. but, that is not what i am really after. that’s too shallow of a goal. what i am after is much deeper. what i want is lifelong.
what i am after is peace.
and, for me, peace is something that comes from within.
of course, we mean peace when we talk about the absence of war or conflict. and, of course, this is highly important to me, as a self-avowed pacifist. but, we cannot have peace among people, nations, governments, societies… without first creating peace within. we can try, and we can work hard to make peace happen, but true peace begins in our souls. it begins in the deepest part of ourselves. and it is there already, inside of you. i promise. within that inner peaceful place inside us, there is the spirit that unites us all. that’s why i know that, if and when, we tap into our own inner peace, then we will automatically create peace in the world.
so, our jobs first and foremost as human beings sharing this earth together? to discover and live from our own inner peace. that’s where we begin.
and when we are aligned with our inner peace, then happiness just doesn’t matter.
why, you wonder? because happiness comes and goes, and is dependent on things that are outside of us, external factors.
are we happy because of what we have or where we live? do we wish for more, thinking that it will make us happy? what if it’s raining for a week, does that make us sad? what if we feel trapped where we live, or stuck in a rut? are we then completely unhappy? will owning more clothes make us happy? will moving to another city finally make us happy? does travel fill us up and make us feel happy? what if we can’t travel? what if everything disappeared? would we then be completely depressed and give up?
of course all of these things affect our moods. having things is fun. being happy is fun. losing things, disappointment, and suffering are not fun. some things in life are devastating, and some things make us feel like the king of the world. but, if we base our happiness on what happens to us, then we will surely be disappointed. we will be be bouncing back and forth between good days and bad days. because life sucks. it’s tough. there is suffering, and injustice, and violence. and it’s all overwhelming. and we feel helpless.
so, if i am basing my happiness in life on my job, other people, experiences, travel, money, success, my family, health, then i am not going to be happy all of the time. period. fact of life.
when things are not going my way, then i am going to feel like i am out of control. or i am going to pretend that i am happy. that’s even worse. lying to myself and everyone else. living a life that looks good, but feels empty. all because i don’t want to feel the pain or face the truth.
but, what i am saying, and it is something that is hard to grasp onto, is that peace is way deeper than our circumstances. peace cares what is happening around us, but stays calm. because the main thing is happening within us. and, when we can sit quietly in the presence of our souls, then life may be swirling and tossing us about like a ship on the sea, but we remain faithful, steadfast, hopeful. because, ultimately, we know that we are ok. because we are not all of those things happening to us. because we are more than all of the things that define us or make us happy or unhappy. we are the spirit that lies deep within us. we are strong, unmovable, attached, grounded, yet flexible and able to go with the flow.
the bottom line, in my opinion (and experience), is that inner peace is living a life in balance. it is not all puppies and rainbows and sunny days. but it is maturity and wisdom, acknowledging, feeling, and choosing to keep on keeping on, to move onwards and upwards.
and inner peace brings the empowerment needed to do just that.
but, inner peace only comes when we take the time to be still and silent. it begins with simply being. with getting in touch with our selves, discovering who we are, listening to our heart, letting our passions come to light, breathing, being mindful and aware.
and as we begin to live a life of awareness, then we feel the balance occurring. we feel connected. grounded. we feel… at peace.
the longer and more often that we take the time to just be, the more peace that we feel. the more that we feel that we will be ok no matter what comes our way, then the more empowered we feel to follow those dreams, whatever crazy risks they may involve.
so, ultimately, the more time spent being, creating more and more space for peace in our lives, then the more we actually end up doing. and, everything that we do is then infused with deep meaning + purpose. here is where we live out our dreams and make our unique mark in this world. here is where we take all that we are and let our lives be used for the greater good. but, we don’t lose ourselves, because we stay grounded. we always return, again and again, day after day, to the simple task of being. and, we let life and work and dreams unfold.
inner peace is powerful. it is trust. it is action. it is simplicity. it is living life fully and authentically as we are. and, most importantly, it is a lifelong journey. a constant balancing, aligning, adjusting, and growing. but, once we tap into a life lived with inner peace as the highest value, then the journey, no matter where it takes us, is one that we accept, not passively, but in a more go-with-the-flow-ish way. in the middle of our acceptance, we know that we have control over our lives. our decisions.
we have this one life. and it is up to us how we decide to live it. inner peace provides us the inspiration to live life the way that we wish.
so, do we chase happiness? or do we seek something deeper. do we want to live from moment to moment trying to feel good? always waiting for the next destination? or do we want to go on a journey, knowing that the process, the whole way, every single minute, is all part of finding our bliss?
nope. i don’t care about happiness. i choose peace.
Sometimes, it feels as if you are speaking directly to the part of my heart that I’m turned away from. Lately, I have been sad. Sad that my youngest child has flown and is out there on her own. But I tell myself that I’m supposed to be happy for her, happy for my freedom, happy for the possibilities ahead. But if I don’t take that little bit of time to be sad, too… there won’t be balance.
Thank you. ♥
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Great article. I guess the first step is to realize that real happiness only comes from inner peace.
Thanks for sharing such deep thoughts. One of the founding documents of the U.S. says all men have the right to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’. I’ve always questioned that. It seems too shallow and fleeting.
[…] Why I Don’t Care About Being Happy – Be/Love/Live […]
After my basic needs are met, I would seek peace too. Nice article for reflection.
Thank you for your comment and for reading! So glad you liked this post.
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I love this.