Lately I have been giving a lot of thought to my level of satisfaction in my life. In case you can't tell from my blog a few days ago, I have a LOT going on in the upcoming months. I've been crazy busy, and I have a lot of pretty amazing opportunities coming up. And it got me to thinking about when in my life I have been my happiest. Strangely enough it has always been when I have been fresh out of a relationship and therefore trying to keep myself really busy. I always seem to do a lot of fun things when I am single, mainly due to the fact that I can more or less come and go as I please. But looking at those times, I also remember feeling something missing. Which, to me, is sort of weird. When I am my happiest, I am also somehow sad. Why was that? What was I missing?
Today I finally put my finger on it. Peace of mind. I have been my absolute most giddy, happy, joyful self. But I didn't really have peace during those times. And I think that is to be expected to some extent. I was lonely, and a part of me that was once occupied was now vacant. I think that's acceptable to feel a little bit empty. Now this led me to thinking about what it would take to fill that vacancy with peace. What does it take to become a "peaceful person?" I looked at each person that I associate with. Which people, did I feel, were truly at peace with their lives? And what were they doing to maintain that? In looking at these people, I couldn't help but notice a few things. A- That many of the people I know are HAPPY- not peaceful. And B- How few people I know that I would venture to say are truly at peace in their lives. I think it's easy to exude happiness- but to be peaceful, you have to really feel it.
So next I looked at the peaceful people that I know. What were they doing? What drove them to a place of serenity in their lives? Were they all people with successful jobs? Or marriages? Or families? Were they people who had travelled the world? Or settled down and owned a home??
I'd say about 5% of the people I know are genuinely at peace. And where they are in their lives are all totally different. Some are world travellers. Some are settled down with families and happy marriages. But not every world traveller is at peace. And not every person with a spouse or kids is at peace. So what is it? What's the formula?
I read something the other day that I found interesting. It said, more or less, that we are ALL the same. The exact same. We each have hardships. We each have blessings. We each have trials. The difference between happy and unhappy people (or in this case, I think peaceful and unpeaceful people) is how we react to the things in our lives. Two people can be given a series of trials in their lives. One can be grateful for the challenges, and strive for success. The second can become overwhelmed and falter. And THAT is the difference between peace and unrest. It's what you do with the life set out before you. It's internal. It isn't about someone or some thing else being there for you, it's about what you can become in your own being. And I guess when you can realize that, and hold pride in it, you can settle into who YOU are. And I think that once you like who you are, you can find peace. And you know that you aren't perfect. Sometimes you get mad- which isn't very peaceful at all. But you shorten the time spent upset, and lengthen the time that you are filled with joy.
Lately I have been so preoccupied with staying busy, which is great. Going on trips and hanging out with friends. But I think it's important to be with myself too. To just be still, and listen to the world happening all around me. To enjoy the present in order to make my peace with my life. I can be busy tomorrow. And I will be. But in order to be more connected with who I am and the peace that resides within me, I should enjoy this moment a bit more. In Me, and not looking outwardly for approval. Simply serene and at one with myself.