A long time ago when I was very young, I was certain I misunderstood the concept of happiness. This idea of being happy always seemed a little out of reach and required several, uncontrollable external factors to fall into a specific configuration. Also, it was temporary.
It didn't make any sense to me. Try really hard, be really perfect, and then get to be happy for a day?Something within me whole-heartedly disagreed with this way of living. But, who was I to know better? I buried my doubts and set to living my life and defining my happiness by what happened on the outside. I got pretty good at it, too. Perfectionism and (sometimes) debilitating anxiety were my driving forces. I did this for as long as I was able until one day I couldn't anymore.
A hard-core panic attack will do that to you. Stop you dead in your tracks because it's the only way you will listen.
That was about ten years ago and was the catalyst to my commitment to exploring the inward path. What I was doing on an external level wasn't making me happy and I knew it. The something within that I had ignored was ready to be heard.
Even a decade in, I feel like I have only begun. I still am a striving, judgmental, insecure human, but now my inner work lets me have more self-compassion for these parts of myself. The beauty of this is it has allowed more compassion for others as well. Both of these perspectives have been helpful and healing.
Sure, I have goals and I absolutely am sad when they don't turn out the way I want. But now, I have this other, more true way of being that works in tandem. The true way allows access to a deep well of peace and unconditional love. It allows me to look upon the landscape of life and only see wonder dancing like a song across a tide-pool.
The path ahead remains a series of unfolding forgettings and rememberings, but the one constant is the peace we all carry within us.
Inward & Onward
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