A long time ago, before we got married -- while we were still chewing over the whole extraordinary concept -- JoAnn and I made an important discovery. We discovered that while we are very different in a lot of ways, we both value inner peace, finding inner peace.
We were visiting an old friend who happens to be a clinical psychologist. Our psychologist friend had each of us write down our priorities in life -- and it turned out that while JoAnn, for example, is very practical, and good at figures – which I’m not -- both of us put inner peace at the top of our list.
We think back to that little event in our lives once in awhile and say to ourselves something like this: "I wonder if it's because both of us put so much value in inner peace that we have been able to deal with our challenges and difficulties and keep our relationship growing."
Happiness is inner peace
There’ll be a change in the masthead banner of my blog soon. The tagline used to say, "Finding happiness and peace in troubled times." But the new tagline will say -- with a bit more simplicity and directness -- "Happiness is inner peace."
I can only speak for myself, of course. But the older I get, the more I realize the truth of these four little words.
If I am at peace with myself and my life, I'm happy. It's as simple as that. If for some reason I stop being at peace -- even for a few moments – happiness begins leaking away in a hurry.
How to find inner peace?
How do we find inner peace?
Do you have to go somewhere geographically in order to find it? No. I used to think you did. I was sure of it. I traveled the world in search of it.
Do you have to read a particular book, or go to a particular workshop, or meet just the right mentor? No. You don't. All these things can be helpful, of course.
But the truth is that all you have to do is to be still, truly still, just for a moment. Immediately you do this, your mind stops -- it has no choice -- and you begin to participate in a miracle.
Finding peace at last
All of a sudden, the difficulty and stress and strain that you may have known, for a day, for a week, perhaps for a lifetime, simply dissolves. It's as if it doesn't exist anymore.
You find yourself surrounded immediately by the magic of your true home, the home of being, the home of love, the home of God.
Is it is impossible to understand mentally what stillness is, or what being is. But more and more, I find, that doesn't matter. What's important is that it can be experienced. We can find a connection with our own inner being that nothing can shake or destroy.
Perhaps that's not entirely true. We can be shaken. In this very rigorous process of selling our house in Loveland and then finding a suitable townhome in Denver – for example -- I have been shaken many times.
Yet paradoxically... as we persist… we realize that our being is not shaken at all. Quite calm and untroubled by anything that is transpiring …
You can never lose yourself
Because here's the thing. The stillness of which I am speaking will never leave you. And the reason for this is simple. It is what you are. The stillness that you feel when you open your heart and mind to it is your own stillness. It isn’t coming to you from some far-off deity or another…
It's the stillness of your own being and it will never leave you. In the midst of a chaotic, complex and dangerous world, this is one thing of which you may be very sure:
You can never lose who you truly are.
Picture credit: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2558/3707042668_9cd2c8a9d5_m.jpg