I recently came across a post where the author said he gave up on searching for happiness, because it’s fleeting and instead is focusing on finding inner peace, because it’s sustainable … using the following quote as a back drop:
“Is there a difference between happiness and inner peace? Yes. Happiness depends on conditions being perceived as positive; inner peace does not” Eckhart Tolle.
It’s entirely possible that it’s just a matter of semantics, but yet as written and understood by me, I don’t think I can get behind that.
Obviously I am a big proponent of inner peace, who can argue with that 🤓 but it just doesn’t seem right that it should compete with happiness. I view them more synergistically…
In my mind, inner peace is a baseline, a cave of sorts anyone can visit to weather the initial sting of expectation to reality mismatch. However, I don’t want to stay there. I want to step out as soon as I can to experiences the simple joys hidden in plain sight such good night sleep, cool breeze on my face, random act of kindness, a smile …. I could go on for a long time …
Are these condition based? Yes, but these conditions are all around us. In fact, I recently heard in a homily that there is an African tradition where a person has a thousand bead string as a tracking tool to identify thousand blessings they encounter throughout the day.
To me it comes down to individual happiness criteria. I mean, is the inner peace a self-numbing mechanism to cope with too high of a happiness bar or mere self-centering station to remind me just how low the happiness bar actually is?
What gives you inner peace? What makes you happy? Are these two mutually exclusive or mutually reinforcing?
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