Saturday, May 28, 2011

Inner Peace or Happiness - Are they the same?

"In the sanctuary of my heart, I feel the peace and love of God.

Though responsibilities, interests and distractions compete for my attention, I am blessed with the ability to focus. I maintain space in my mind and heart for stillness and quiet. In this inner sanctuary, I find peace. I feel God's presence and love. 

In the midst of any activity, I can pause for a moment and consciously shift my attention inward. It is as if I have touched the hem of the garment of Jesus and am experiencing a healing and soothing peace sweep over me.

During periods of extended meditation, I go even deeper into the silence. I welcome this respite and feel myself relax in mind and body. I am blessed by this conscious connection with the flow of good. Thank you, God, for your peace and love.

May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.--Jude 1:2"   Daily Word

Is your Inner Peace dependent on your Happiness or is your Happiness dependent on your Inner Peace?  Or are they even related?  In a recent SparkPeople  Healthy Reflections I read:

“The secret to happiness is not to get what you want, but to want what you already have. If you think about it, most discontent grows from want. We want more stuff, more excitement, more pleasure. When we don't get those things, we're resentful and unsatisfied. Take away the want, and you take away the unhappiness. When your quality of life is tied to your desires, fulfillment is a shadow that escapes your view. Like trying to imagine a new color, the harder you look, the harder it is to see. Does this mean you stop setting goals and striving for a healthy lifestyle and better life? No. It means you can appreciate life regardless of the outcome. It means you can relish the pursuit while accepting the possibility of failure. It means you can still enjoy the ride. Happiness is not a destination--it's a way of life. The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet. - James Oppenheim”

That takes me back to my trip to Unity Village for a weekend retreat with Byron Katie - when I really began to figure out how to Love What Is.  It all started with a traffic jam that caused me to miss my flight.  OK. I had some choices.  Wait and hope there was a future flight in time to make it there maybe missing part of the conference for a few extra bucks, pay for a whole new ticket for a whole lot of money, but get there without missing anything, or cancel the trip and feel that life had cheated me out of this opportunity that I’d work hard to achieve.  What do you suppose I did?

At first I reacted with my human emotions of anger, helplessness & indecision.  I was just coming through one of the darkest periods of time in my life.  I had been working hard to let go of old ways of reacting and seeing myself as a victim of life’s hard knocks.  I had been learning to embrace “what is”, breath through it, lean into it & not attach to the emotions that come up. 

So I just bought a new ticket and went on my way—yes, it was a lot of money--yes, I’d worked hard to get the cheapest flight and make this trip affordable, but I wasn’t putting a price on happiness, and my inner peace didn’t need to be disturbed by this blip in my plans.  I knew the trip was worth it. Even more, I knew that I was worth it! 

I was investing in my spiritual and emotional growth.  My inner peace was not going to be disturbed by this and my happiness didn’t depend on everything going “as planned”.

So open the prison doors of your mind--release old memories that were painful, old ways of acting, and start embracing and making new ones that nourish your soul today.  And as always, if you’d like help with this process, contact me, I’d love to help!

Photo credit - Evgeni Dinev /