Finding peace

It’s as simple and difficult as ignoring the white box in the photo.

‘Happiness as a state of mind’ is something that I think a lot of people struggle with as a concept and it’s very difficult to express clearly. When thinking about happiness, I immediately think about how far things have advanced and changed over the past 2000 years.

On the whole and as a global society, we are tremendously better off. We have worked to eliminate disease, reduce hunger, alleviate poverty and elevate positive values like love and tolerance while shaming hate. Nothing is ever perfect and expecting things to be so will leave you in a mental state of disorder and chaos.

Learning how to accept the challenges of the day as sensations that happen as a part of a greater experience, rather than focusing in on them entirely, can help you achieve a centered mind.

Mental habits that remind you of the people or things that you love while you face a particular challenge can help you balance out the importance of that challenge in regards to the rest of your life. These habits are built by consciously reminding yourself of the good things in your life as you go.

The challenges will make themselves known. Just love yourself enough to remember that your life is greater than any one challenge and even if it’s just me, there is someone who loves you.

What you deserve

You’re trapped in a cycle, spinning around with feelings and people you don’t know,

What you’re doing doesn’t make you love yourself, and you deserve a better experience,

There are all sorts to have in this life, have that which reinforces your self worth,

If you’re feeling worse doing the same things, do things differently,

Do it for love and do it with grace, or you’ll never change the cycle.

Recognize that you’re the cycle and you’ll leave when you’re ready.

The illusion of choice

It’s always a delightful moment when someone is convinced that they have control over their destiny as eventually, life finds a way to humble that person.

It’s like when you see someone take their first steps out into the world, so confident that they know what all the steps they’re going to take are like because they’ve already figured out how to walk. They’re not aware of how their body is going to grow, how the weather is going to fluctuate and how life tends to enjoy putting obstacles in front of our feet. They’ve learned how to walk though, so they’re going to walk where they want.

There’s a fun exercise called the ‘Veil of Ignorance’ that asks you to step outside of who you are and to pretend like you are a spirit waiting to be born. The exercise than asks if to take the same decision twice, once pretending that you are this spirit and once in your real identity to see if you would take a different decision.

Choice and identity are like flavours to our experience. They make us feel, see and enjoy more of what’s happening in the world, but they aren’t integral to our experience. The ‘Veil’ helps us to recognize how important our identity and circumstances are in making decisions.

It is important then to recognize how our identity is crafted over time due to circumstances wildly beyond our control or influence. You don’t get to pick your skin colour, your parents, where you were raised or the weather today.

When you accept the lack of control over the factors that influence you and guide how you make decisions, you can accept that choice is something that feels nice but doesn’t really matter as you have no control over that choice.

Growth

New territories are always available,

The path to them can be strange,

They will feel uncomfortable at first,

That discomfort will pass,

If it was not a challenge,

It would not be growth.