Today, as I was reading my inspirational reading/meditative thought for the day, it hit me quite literally between the eyes and I had one of those moments of epiphany. Where it all came together and I could really see the differences in many situations with people and things. For months, as I began writing almost daily in a journal, I began to see the many changes that were becoming more and more apparent in my life. Today was another of those days, and I have had many, but I am just choosing to blog about todays because I thought it was one of the more interesting changes or becoming aware moments.
While reading an article by Wilfred A. Peterson I came across this,"When we expect happiness to come to us from the outside we are usually disappointed. Happiness is not guaranteed by sunny weather, a raise in pay, a new car, a beautiful home or anything else of a material nature. External things are often possessed by very unhappy people. The source of happiness is not in events happening outside of us; the source of happiness is within us. We can not control the outside world but we can control our own thoughts and emotions. All true happiness is an inner experience. The only way life will change for us is when we change ourselves." ( Italics added for emphasis)
This is where I sat up straight and said, Wow! I realized many things all in that instant. One of them, that the reason that I have felt much happier, in recent months, is due to the fact that I stopped feeling competitive. I stopped wanting to have everything that my friends had and started to only get what I actually needed. I stopped letting myself feel that I was as good as them if only I had cool stuff too. I let my life to be run material crap. A tad shallow indeed. yes, I realized that I have enough stuff and do not need to add to anymore clutter in my home or life. As a matter of fact I am really trying hard to "de-clutter" myself.
I am also finding much more satisfaction from my family rather than looking outward for approval. What was I thinking? I was trying to get other shallow and insecure people to validate my sense of worth when they too are trying to hunt for their own validation! That doesn't work for any of us. After spending months listening to a certain friend, or person that I used to think was a friend, yammer on and on about their problems and life etc., without ever coming up for air to ask more than a cursory question about mine, I realized that this person was just using me as an audience. Kind of like they were the Pope and I was having an audience with her and she would listen to a snippet here and there and throw me an occasional bone of a nod or a thought and then we would quickly turn back to her life. Which by the way she thinks is far more interesting than mine. Mine is far less complicated and far more calm and fulfilling. Which I only came to realize in these last few months.
Now, I am no longer looking outside my own walls for happiness. It can be found within your own walls. Sharing time doing nothing or playing a silly video game or watching a comedy show. Talking on a short car trip. It really is all about sharing. the more you share and the more you put into this thing the more you get back. Who better to do this with than your family? Those that you live with. yes, I know that they say that a good girlfriend is very important, but those relationships are few and fare between I believe. Yes, I have one very good friend that I have had since high school. But good relationships between grown women are a rare bird indeed. It is hard to find friends that do not feel the need to be competitive with you, or "one up" you. It is especially sad when you have put a good amount of time into a friendship only to find out/or realize that they were not a good friend and that you are easily replaceable and have been replaced!!
Your inner happiness means so much more than the trappings of daily living. if you are happy inwardly then the rest just falls into place. This is what I am discovering right now. I am so much more peaceful these days, past months, due to this new sense of happiness. This path to personal enrichment has done good things for me. It has caused me to look at myself and really make changes in the areas where I was lacking. Each day I try to approach as the best possible me that I can be. I am trying to speak only good of everyone, and yes, that is a difficult challenge, but one that is a noble goal. As the lotus flower grows in mud, but is not affected by it, so is the way that I would like to live my life.
I almost believe that y being on this quest for meaning in life that it is causing me to shift my focus and my paradigms and forcing me to look at situations in new and improved light. That is a good thing. When we become complacent in our lives is when the boredom sets in and when we begin to question everything. If we look at what we have and make the effort everyday to appreciate it and those around us...well, that is when I think that we re-discover a vitality in ourselves and that makes everything seem new again. That is a great feeling to have every day!!