Happiness is fleeting. Find peace.
I was an “I’ll be happy when…” person. I’ll be happy when I finally finish college. I’ll be happy when I land that perfect job. I’ll be happy when I get married. I’ll be happy when I find my forever home. I’ll be happy when (insert anything) happens.
Finding happiness is an illusion; you may as well chase a shadow around for the rest of your life.
Now, at 41, all I want is peace.
The only place you find that is inside your complicated and often distracted mind.
I would love to say I have found long-lasting and unwavering contentment, but I am still halfway to not quite there yet. I tried meditation. I am still actively trying meditation. It almost feels like I’m trying to still a race car trapped inside a tornado. My mind has been in the fast lane for all of my life. I do not do still. I spin.
The first time I tried to meditate, I spent 10 minutes with my eyes closed wondering if I should have read a book or blog about meditation and the next 10 minutes arguing with myself about the fact that I was overthinking my meditation journey. I stopped and decided to try again in a few days. I tried various methods and ultimately succeeded and was able to meditate for 10 or so minutes at a time. It was blissful.
The stillness, the emptiness of thought. The calm. The peace.
When I was a little girl, I remember getting worked up and having a difficult time calming down. My grandmother would plainly and calmly say, “Let it be”—whatever it was, she had the same advice. It has taken me four decades to understand the freedom in letting things be.
Life is an unpredictable, often confusing journey. You do not get a blueprint, a guidebook, or map. What you get instead is invaluable. You get to learn lessons from mistakes. You get to relish in surprise endings and unexpected encounters. You get a light at the end of a dark place. You get better than you hope for and more than can be expected.
If you allow it.
If you have faith in your fate, patience in your journey, and acceptance that life will likely not give you what you want but it is always almost certain to give you exactly what you need. If you just—
Let it be.