This post is part of The Awakened Heart Project
Week 20: We Are All Beggars Until We Begin To Look Inward
“Happiness is inward, and not outward; and so, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are.”
~ Henry Van Dyke
The External World Keeps Us Disconnected
With all of the external stimulation we have at our constant disposal in today’s world, it has become difficult to spend any time, consciously stimulating our inner self. We spend time watching television, sitting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, (“googling” to our hearts content), reading on our computers or ereaders, watching movies, texting, emailing, shopping, -buying our way to happiness, building our ideal happiness on Pinterest…I could go on forever, but I wont.
It’s not hard to see that we’ve created a very external world where introspection is perhaps a rarity; where searching for happiness and inner peace are found outwardly. The problem with this is that happiness and inner peace CANNOT be found outwardly. The attempts we make to do this fail, -clearly they fail, or we wouldn’t be consuming as much as we consume. We wouldn’t be spending so much time disconnected from ourselves as we do.
We all want happiness, but we don’t understand how to get it. We spend our days in constant pursuit of happiness but never find it. We ask ourselves, “What will make me happy?” But we usually end up concluding that external items will answer this question. We think, maybe I need a new car; If only I weren’t single; If only I had more money; if I buy this, I’ll be happy. We also spend our days blaming our unhappiness on everything and everyone but ourselves. We blame our parents, our partners, our boss, our friends, the weather, traffic, the neighbors, the state of the economy, the President, our in-laws, what so-and-so said about us, how many friends we have on Facebook, our small bank accounts, etc., etc., etc! Even worse, we measure happiness by comparing ourselves to others and what others have assuming that everything we see them project outwardly, is an authentic representation of what they feel inwardly (e.g. We compare our lives to our Facebook friends who all appear to be elated with life, happy, and having the best time ever with their 500+ amazing friends).
The most important thing we forget when we get sucked into this lifestyle, is that what people project outwardly, is not necessarily authentic. We all have masks we wear to fit in, to be seen as normal, to be accepted. Rarely do people walk around spreading their misfortune and telling everyone and anyone how unhappy they are, or nervous, or unfulfilled. But trust me, any person (who isn’t shallow of course) is pondering the same question about life as you. They’re asking themselves what makes me happy, what is my purpose, what can I buy to improve my life? And if they’re not pondering it yet, they will….they will, they will, they will!
We Are All Prisoners and Beggars
We are all prisoners to external world when we look outwardly to find meaning and purpose. In a sense we “beggars” and “homeless” in the sense that we are searching to find peace, and inner satisfaction and safety outwardly. We forget, “Home is where the heart is”.
To help illustrate exactly what I mean, I’ve included An excerpt from Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now: Read more