Ever feel like a hamster, in a gigantic room with millions of other hamsters, all running on wheels? Going, going, going but not really getting anywhere. Not getting happier, not feeling any more special or more satisfied? I know I have for a long time, but for the first time in my life, I'm truly letting that mindset of striving go, and embracing peace.
We still think the grass is always greener on the other side!
I have lived most of my life in this mindset and thought I had finally moved beyond it! But I really hadn't. Once I started owning my own businesses, the chase, the never ending chase/rat race continued. Always seeking something better, bigger, more grand. If only I accomplish that, I'll be truly happy. If I can live in that neighborhood and my kids can go to that school, I'll be happy. If we can make more money, my life would be so much better. If only we could go on more vacations, get more massages, travel, remodel our house, if I could lose 10 more pounds, lose that cellulite, fix my baby belly, have a perfect body, if my husband would be more romantic, if my kids would always “behave.” It never ever ends. Just writing all of that stresses me out! I felt like a hamster on a wheel – stuck in that cage. Until I finally GOT IT. Lightbulb!
There isn't really anything that we need, they're all wants.
I need nothing. I have come to realize that there is truly nothing that I need. I am whole, worthy, special and important just as I am. There is nothing I need to accomplish or do to be more special.
So in essence, there is nothing that I need. I realized that all of the things, and titles and jobs I thought I needed are actually just wants. None of them complete me or truly make me happy, only temporarily so. They are merely temporary and earthly wants and desires. Knowing this has relieved so much stress for me! This stress could also be called resistance and when we bring resistance into the equation, we then make the process of getting what we want (because we think we NEED it), much more difficult, arduous, and add trials like hurting relationships because we use other people as a means to get what we want.
- I don't need a new car, but I'd like one.
- I don't need a bigger house, but it'd be nice to have more space.
- I don't need to go to the gym, but I'd like to.
- I don't need that promotion, but it'd be exciting to accomplish that.
- I don't need more money, but it'd be nice to buy more of what I think I want.
- I don't need my kids to go to that school, but I'd like for them to.
- I don't need for my kids to make good grades, but it'd be nice for them to.
- I don't need to lose weight, but it'd be nice to be healthier and feel better.
- I don't need to fit into my clothes from before my babies were born, but it'd be nice to be healthy.
- I don't need my business to keep growing, but it would be exciting if it did.
- I don't need to travel and see the world, but I think it would be fun.
- I don't need to write a blog post every week, but I'd like to.
- I don't need to grow my social media following, but I'd like to.
- I don't need for my children to be perfectly behaved, but it sure is nice when they are.
- Technically, I don't even need food and water because I don't even have to be alive!
What we are all chasing is peace.
All of the striving, the straining, the grasping the world is out doing, especially in the United States where accomplishment and outward success are KING, is all just an outward symptom of a great illness of a lack of peace. I am not enough unless I have this or that. I will not be happy until I have that. The easiest thing to do is to turn to things to satisfy because they are right in front of us. We can see, and touch and taste and feel them. So we grab onto this idea or that idea. Think we need this job, rank or promotion, or this house or neighborhood, or school, or think we have to look this certain way or be this certain weight in order to be happy.
Those things were never meant to complete us or make us happy. They were simply meant to bring us temporary joy, to add to the adventure, fun and rich experience that life on earth can be! Not fulfill your innermost desires.
It's like begging someone who doesn't love you to marry you and love you back. They'll never be able to give you what you want.
What is inner peace then?
Inner peace is knowing that we are significant, special, important and loved just as we are – without a single accomplishment, title or experience to our names. We are enough simply because we exist! Then, it's knowing that “the Lord is my shepherd.” God is taking care of it all! The universe we live in is so gigantic we haven't even begun to understand it's enormity. Heck, we barely even understand our own bodies, emotions and minds! We know so little, yet we worry and worry. This is where faith brings peace. Faith that God's got my back. I don't have to do it all in my own strength. And things are always working out for me.
Life then becomes our work of art!
So then all of the desires I have become part of the experience of making my life fun and adventurous! They can also give me purpose and make my part of the world better than before I existed. I've started to see life as my canvas – instead of what do I have to have in order for me to be happy? I know now that I need to cultivate peace and contentment within my own spirit and heart first. After that, then I ask, “what would I like to add or do in my life that would add beauty, fun, adventure, purpose?”
It's knowing that no matter what, even if I die, yes leave this earth, I WILL BE OKAY. Why? Because the only thing over which I have control is my attitude, my outlook, my thoughts and no matter my circumstances, I will be okay because I CHOOSE to be okay.