Let’s imagine for a moment that we are all, not just destined but designed to experience peace and joy as our natural state in every waking moment.
So what went wrong?
Well I won’t go into that long and sad tale now, but it had something to do with the denial of the spiritual and over-emphasis on the physical, and it happened long, long ago.
But guess what? It’s all good because in the process of losing faith in our power to find peace in simply BEing, humanity has been gifted with the sort of blinding clarity and purpose that only this type of extreme contrast can offer. How most of us discover what we want in life is usually prompted by being served up (well actually, creating for ourselves), bucket loads of what makes us unhappy, sick, depressed and disconnected from our truth. Then hopefully, gradually, we work it out:
“Oh, I get it now. So working 50 hours a week in a job I hate with people I have nothing in common with, towards goals that are meaningless to me is making me unhappy. Hmmm perhaps it’s time for me to get real about what I love doing and spend more time focusing on that.”
“For decades now I’ve denied my divinity in favour of keeping others happy and catering for their needs instead of my own. I’ve been placing myself last instead of first and rather than getting the love I hoped I would get in return, all I’ve received is feelings of resentment, anger and exhaustion. It’s time they appreciated me….. I guess I need to appreciate myself first. I don’t even know who I am or if I am worthy of a happy life.”
What I’ve attempted to flesh out here is how we employ complex devices to keep us from our truth and which constantly pull us out of the present moment. A device can be anything from the roles we create for ourselves of mother, worker, daughter, wife, etc to our preoccupations with anything in our lives from technology, our health and physical appearance, what we fear and what we desire, under the illusion that if we get what we want and avoid what we fear, we will feel complete and happy.
Of course our society and family upbringings have trained us to do this under the guise of creating a “successful life”. And I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not always easy to drop the devices and connect with the deeper self. But I think it’s certainly worth a try. And yes, I’ll say it again meditation, stillness and creative expression of any sort are wonderful tools to shift into this awareness.
Says Eckhart Tolle in his book Stillness Speaks:
“When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.”
“When you become aware of silence, immediately there is that state of inner still alertness. You are present. You have stepped out of thousands of years of human conditioning.”
My intention for the year about to commence is to further cultivate my awareness of inner stillness and make peace my gift to myself and the world around me each day.
Happy New Year!