Which is More Important — Happiness or Inner Peace?

Thank you for the question

Photo by Brian Breeden on Unsplash

As a society, we tend to overestimate the value of happiness. Sure, it is a great thing when we are happy. We feel dilated, expanded, and optimistic about our lives. When happiness comes from an unconditional place, it is a beautiful experience. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for most people.

In general, our happiness is conditioned, it is dependent and tied to outcomes.

We are happy when we get a promotion, or when we feel loved by our partner, or when we enroll new clients for our business, or when we dream about Jesus, etc. Inherently, there is nothing problematic about the above. The only issue here is that in doing so, we are training ourselves to be dependent on external circumstances to be happy.

And as long as we are dependent on happiness, our approach to life is biased. We look at it through rose-colored-glasses. And doing so puts us in a tough spot because we will want to avoid unhappy experiences when such experiences are essential ingredients to this thing we call life.

If we are always wanting to be happy, we inevitably attract frustration.

When we don’t get the promotion, we feel upset. When our partner doesn’t reciprocate our feelings for whatever reason, we feel frustrated. When people aren’t interested in doing business with us, we doubt our skills. When, despite all our spiritual efforts, not much happens in our life, we lose hope and go back to old ways of doing things.

Life contains both sides: the “good,” and the “bad.” The “right,” and the “wrong.” The happy, and the unhappy. The child, and the elder. The ideal, and reality.

How biased we are towards one of its sides determines the kind of experiences we attract (disappointments, frustration, misery, etc.). And as long as we are biased in our approach to life, it is close to impossible to experience true peace.

For millennia, human beings have fought with their lives. It was an essential step in our evolution. While we had to do something about our outer conditions in order to improve our quality of life; it kept us in the habit of always wanting to “fix” life.

That’s part of the reason why we have a hard time being at peace.

Basically, peace naturally arises when we look at life in its whole manifestation — without wanting it to be one way instead of the other. Peace is not something we “acquire,” it happens organically when we stop judging our experiences.

Obviously, this is not an easy matter. It demands patience, and the willingness to overcome many of our limiting tendencies. But here’s the thing, most people don’t like change. And that’s why they give up too soon, or simply look for another book or guru.

As a final suggestion; don’t pursue peace. Just learn to look at life in whatever “shape” it unfolds. Look at it. And see if you can perceive beauty in ugliness, as an example.

I hope your question was answered.

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