Monday, December 16, 2013

Set the Tone: You Mistake Peace for Happiness

" Many people think of happiness as a goal, something you're working toward that will eventually make you feel good or at peace with your life. To me, however, happiness is usually associated with a high that occurs when something nice happens. You feel happy when you get the job or find a $100 bill on the street. You feel happy leaving for vacation. But very often the vacation doesn't turn out the way it's supposed to, or it comes to an end, or while on that vacation you only think about the problems you're going to find when you come back home. In all of these cases, the happiness is temporary. After a while it subsides, and then, quite often, you'll even feel suddenly low. Because happiness isn't peace. Happiness is actually quite superficial, whereas peace is deeper. Peace is immune to the polarities of life: the highs and lows, the hots and colds, the so-called goods and so-called bads. This is why peace is so crucial. Nobody goes through life without encountering all these experiences, inspiring or upsetting. When someone close to you dies or you have a health problem or you lose our possessions, you probably can't feel happy. Nobody could. But do you need to feel in absolute despair? Do you need to feel devastated? If you are at peace and connected with that deeper level in you, those kind of emotional extremes don't occur. You'll have a calm that is not affected by whatever happens in the world, because you have an acceptance and understanding of whatever happens in the world"
- Eckhart Tolle

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