“You’ve got to work on getting happiness”, or “You’ve got to work to make that dream job happen.” I have often heard people say such things, and make other such strong affirmations. Although, they can be empowering and can even help set goals to achieve in one’s life, there’s an underlying assumption that these things are currently non-existent in our lives and that we have somehow got ‘to work’ to make them appear and stay long-term.
Granted, that for an unhappy person this may be their truth, or for an unsatisfied person, their goal may be to work on making their life satisfactory or more attractive than it is today.
What if there was a deeper principle underlying and governing these sought after factors in life, and to discover it, all we had to do was uncover it?
Wouldn’t it be something we could bring into our life not by external means such as work, money or influence, but by clearing the filaments that have obscured it from our view?
It would be like unearthing a treasure trove that has been lying deep within the basement of our house, covered up with clutter. Opening it up would reveal that it has enough content to keep us contented for a very long time. Perhaps then we wouldn’t have to hanker after things that bring us happiness? We could use it every day to help us get by in life comfortably and it would even free up our time and efforts to allow us to do the things we may have wanted to do but never had the space of mind or time to do.
That invisible treasure trove which is embedded in our foundation is our inner peace.
An immediate question might arise that, if this inner peace is there within me, it is well and good, and it can stay there, for it has not brought me much happiness up to now; I am mostly discontent with life. Or, we might say, I dip in and out of happiness, so if this inner treasure trove is indeed existent, it is temperamental, and opens and shuts its lid as and when it pleases; it cannot be relied upon for consistent happiness.
The beauty of inner peace is that it provides more on top of happiness or contentment; it provides a stable baseline for living life. If there is a limitless supply of happiness in one’s life, that would be fantastic, but we might also stop appreciating it and start viewing life as mundane and boring; we might even lose the value of our happiness as we have taken it for granted.
If life dips in and out of the highs of happiness and the lows of sadness, it allows us to learn many things about ourselves and others and gives us an opportunity to grow and become wiser. However, simultaneously it could also make us apprehensive and not allow us to enjoy the highs we are wary of sometimes and the lows that we often anticipate will follow.
If life is a constant low, where we find ourselves mostly in the trough rather than in the crest of happiness, when things do take a turn for the better, we will appreciate and value it more than ever before. However, it could also make us cynical and bitter so that we do not enjoy the long-awaited happiness when it finally comes, as we don’t believe that it will last long.
Now, making the assumption that inner peace is there in each one of us, lying discovered in some, and undiscovered in others, what does it bring us that is different from the much sought-after happiness?
It is a form of happiness which we could call ‘happiness-lite’, meaning that while it might not give us that ecstatic crest of happiness all the time (or it might do just that!), it will also not allow us to drop into the depths of sadness and discontentment for long periods of time. It could be viewed as a slow-release pill of happiness, which ensures that a basic amount of happiness is there in us all the time to keep us holistically healthy, creative and functioning individuals.
So, what can we do to access our inner treasure of peace? This is as good a time as any to reflect on this question and find the answer for ourselves.
Devote some time in a quiet space every day
Be at ease,
Ask the question to yourself or put it out to the universe at large,
And wait patiently to hear the answer.
There may be one or many answers that may come up, so be sure to write them down!
by Charu Sharma – Bexhill, UK