Have you ever noticed that even when you realize you would benefit from inner peace, you have a hard time finding it? Why is that? Could it be that we tend to look for inner peace in the wrong places? The truth is, most of us do just that, because we share the tendency of wanting, which takes us out of the moment.
The notion that we need something outside of ourselves to feel happy and fulfilled is common. For some it is a subtle gnawing in the back of their minds. For others, it is a ravenous obsession that fuels greed, addiction and misery. Wanting to end to the cycle of suffering, we try to fill ourselves up and placate our desires with things, people and experiences. But we are missing the most crucial point.
I saw this quote today and it touched my heart. I thought it was perfect to share with you:
“Peace is not something that is gained when all desires are fulfilled or when all problems are settled. As long as the mind is there, desires will come up and problems will exist. Peace is something that arises when all the thoughts settle and you transcend the mind.”
It is by Amma (Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi), the Hugging Saint, who lives in a state of permanent, peaceful bliss. In these words, she shows us where we can find inner peace – beyond the wanting mind.
For the most part, we try to solve problems with the same thinking that created them. We feel unhappy, so we want things to change. But wanting is actually the source of our unhappiness. When we want what is in the now to be different than it is, we are conflict with the moment. Stress comes when we want what is “here” to be “there”, or the other way around. In so doing, we rob ourselves of peace. When we want, we suffer because we are attached to a sense of lack.
Why It Seems Like You Can’t Get What You Want
Have you ever felt like you’re chasing the proverbial dangling carrot, as though the things you want are just always out of reach, no matter how hard you work, no matter how determined you may be? That is because wanting comes from a place within you that feels broken and separate from the universe.
To reconnect with peace, the first step is to understand that your feeling of brokenness or lack is an illusion. In truth, you are always connected to and a part of a loving universe. You are always loved and never alone.
Why We Don’t Feel Loved
If we are always loved, why don’t we feel that way? Because we are habituated into projecting ideas onto what is happening in our lives, trying to create how we want life to be. Remember how last week we looked at the ego as the creator of drama in our lives? We are all attached to some degree or another to trying to manipulate the moment to suit our ego’s needs. When we do this, we feel unhappy, because we are not in harmony with the now. The problem is not ourselves or life, but our illusory perspective fuelled by wanting.
Peace and happiness cannot be built upon mirages, no matter how hard we try. We can never succeed for long at imposing our limited ego or will upon life. A true and lasting resolve for peace comes from clarity, free from wanting, and rooted in the knowing that the universe has our back.
Why It’s Time to Let Go of Wanting
Maybe you feel an inner voice protesting now, saying that if you stop wanting, you will be stuck forever in an unhappy place. But actually, the opposite is true. As you let go of wanting, you step into your sense of being interconnected with the whole. From this place, you contact your deepest joy and your true power, that is connected with divine will. From here, peace flows.
Try a little experiment: see if you can notice wanting in your life. In which ways are you perceiving life as perpetual lack? In which ways do you feel you are constantly chasing that carrot?
When you notice you are in wanting, gently remind yourself that those thoughts will not lead to peace. Through they may appear real and tempting, think of them as white sugar – sweet for a moment, but made of empty calories with no lasting nourishment.
By truly understanding how wanting leads to suffering, you begin to let go of being attached to it. As you comprehend how wanting is a mirage, you will no longer give it power. It is then that you set the foundation for lasting change and deep inner peace.
Between now and next week, please spend some time with the following questions:
- In which ways is wanting present in my life?
- What are some of the people, places and things I tend to think will bring me peace?
- Is it true that I need them in order to be at peace?
- In which ways do I feel broken, lacking or not enough?
- In which ways does this feeling only bring me more pain?
- Am I willing to stop giving power to these illusions?
- Am I willing to open to the truth that I am loved?
From my heart to yours,