If you want to be truly happy
A few days ago, on a lovely and warm afternoon, I was sitting on my couch deep in meditation, when suddenly ‘DDDZZZZRRRRRRRRRR DUN DUN DUN DDDDZZZZRRRRRRR’
Incredibly loud construction noises started to flood the apartment. It was a combination of ear piercing drilling and headache inducing hammering. This is probably one of the most frustrating and disturbing sounds to listen to — especially when you’re meditating.
Yet, I found myself with a smile on my face, completely unfazed. Out of nowhere, these words popped into my mind:
“Your inner world doesn’t have to be disturbed by what’s happening in the outside world.”
I smiled even harder, and relaxed deeper into the meditation. The drilling sounds continued for a few more minutes, but it’s almost like I couldn’t even hear them. I thought to myself:
‘How many times a day do we let outside circumstances affect how we feel?’
I’ll answer that for you: more than we should!
Your train is late, so you become frustrated and impatient. Your boss told you he doesn’t like the article you spent 3 weeks working on, so you feel like punching him in the face. You’re trying to get some work done at home, when your kids decide to run around like maniacs. (btw, they’re having a blast!)
Yes, these situations aren’t fun, but the reality is that they mean absolutely nothing. It’s never about what happens to us, but about how we react to what happens. I know so many people who, in my situation, would’ve opened their eyes and said — or screamed:
‘Screw this! I can’t even meditate in the comfort of my own home! OF COURSE SOMEONE HAS TO BE DRILLING! This is unbelievable…’
But me? I just smiled and accepted what-is. I didn’t resist the noise or try to draw my attention away from it. I simply let it be.
As the great Greek philosopher Epictetus said:
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”
There’s so much power and freedom in realizing that you’re in control. No more victim mode, no more complaining or blaming — your life, and…