22 April 2016
We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. ~His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
This morning I scanned back over post titles from 50 weeks of this year-long exploration of life satisfaction. The seasons and a host of events played by in fast-forward motion. Posts brought to mind the trigger that had prompted me to examine a subject. A handful of quotes and images jumped out. But mostly, I was struck by the diversity of facets I’ve discovered in this topic.
These different faces, this variety of relevant aspects, are a great gift. Satisfaction, it turns out, has so many access points. Accepting now, filling myself with enough, prioritizing love, defining my values — all of these, at different times and in varying ways, are entries into living a life that pleases.
Teasing out my vague notions, coaxing thoughts into words and words into coherent language, has expanded my awareness and understanding of how I craft a life. I believe there is value in this expedition into our inner lives, into what matters to us, and into how we can act upon those values.
Many of the great spiritual teachers remind us that love and peace begin within, with love for ourselves, with peace about who we are. I have found that the work I do to know myself and nurture my honesty, courage and connection to satisfaction is directly reflected in how I both view the world and bring myself to it. Contemplating and acting on behalf of our own well-being is not ‘navel-staring’ self-absorption or selfishness. I believe it’s tilling the soil that allows us to engage from a place of authenticity and compassion.
The work of creating a positive, rewarding life is ongoing. It’s not an event to check off a bucket list nor a destination with an arrival gate. It is a journey. An on-going relationship with ourselves and life. It’s a good, reliable friendship offering the opportunity to deepen and sweeten our life experiences, to quench our thirst.