Indwelling Joy and Peace: Inhabiting a Rich Inner World
When we are younger, we base our self-esteem on whether others love us or not. As we develop in to maturity, we learn to love ourselves regardless of whether others love us or not. Developing further on in to spiritual maturity, we learn possibly one of the most difficult lessons there is to learn:
Really there is no such thing as self versus others, only self and others as one and the same. It is merely our ego-self that keeps us blinded through the illusion of separation.
There is a layer of existence superimposed on our world of physical reality of noise and chaos. This layer of existence, I call joy, beckons us to reach back into it to recognize who we really are, beyond our ego self tossed and turned by the turmoil of the outer world.
It is the constant where everything returns to find rest after the apparent busy-ness of our outer world.
This world of joy, may be called God or the Tao, causes everything to happen and everything to happen favorably for us. Beyond the limited view of the ego self, the inner self sees this perfection.
Insights above are gathered from some of my silent sitting meditations (Prayer beyond Thoughts: Turning Meditation into a Daily Routine). Being a contemplative by nature, I just happen to eagerly look forward to each silent sitting although it takes me away from additional hours of sleep.
Basically what the hub would like to propose is for us to find lasting joy and peace by inhabiting a rich inner world and discovering our true inner worth.
Some experiences may be worth mentioning to illustrate the point.
Before I signed up for the position at work, someone gave me a “concise” description of the job: “toxic”. It’s not just hearsay, mind you. I could attest to it myself, since I’ve been-there done-that exactly same job in another company. There are too many goals at the same time and so, very stringent score cards. If you focused too much on one goal, the other plummets down. Everything needs to be taken care of in a delicate balance. One unpredictable goal is the customer survey.
I got four of them that was not intended by the customer for me---one was happy about a premises technician and the other three? They were either very mad with the company or the previous representatives. A total of five I can attest to be from a customer referring to me.
So from the total of nine, only five refers to what I actually did. So what does that make of the accuracy of my grade?
5 of 9 = 55.55% accuracy
If we look at it from the perspective of our ego self, understandably we would be upset with having been branded with a failing grade that is 55.55% accurate. And the failing grade goes to your scorecard, which in turn decides whether you get to keep your job or not.
This would be disheartening, a feeling possibly affecting how one interacts with succeeding customers, giving a negative effect on one’s scorecard as well.
But here’s the thing with that inner world I have mentioned about above. That rich inner world shows you the wonderful things that did not come from the world of people. You enter a crowded restaurant where no one can find a seat yet end up finding a seat “reserved for you”. You say “if only I can …” and several days later, you learn that your wish of good will has somehow materialized. You are about to pass an unlit street lamp and it lights up as you do. And so on and so forth ...
The rich inner world shows me and you these things. We just don’t notice them when we are not still and alert. There’s so much it wants to show us. How perfectly peaceful and joyful everything is, how perfectly loved we are.
It is also where seemingly impossible feats accomplished by apparently “us” emanate from. It is not us, hampered by our own limitations, who is able to do this. But God or the Tao working through us.
From this perspective, we can see there really is no need for the traditional word “self esteem”. How can one put one’s faith in the frailty and limitations of one’s humanity? The self esteem that we are longing for is simply us abiding in that space where God works through us. Our inner stillness allowing God or the Tao to do the impossible for us, with us just doing what needs to be done without much ado (wei wu wei)---“a mere bystander”, witnessing the unfolding of a perfect universe, where even chaos understands itself.
I have been through what I consider very difficult times (from my own perspective) and looking back I realize, it’s basically the same experiences all over again. Difficult times, e.g. toxic job. Ha. The only difference is that now, I’m trying to master resolve to pay more attention, to be more still and alert, to the wonderful things that God, the universe or the Tao is causing to happen to me. It actually excites me to recall the wonderful things that have already recently happened and realize or know that they will keep happening and all I need to do is be alert and still.
The difference between then and now, in my case, is just a matter of perspective.
I wake up to go to work each day, take each call, despite the unfair rating I received …
Excited. … dwelling in joy, peace and love.
(This hub is also to immortalize a darling old lady I was on the phone with yesterday. Her lastname appears among the words in the title. Thank you for being a sweetheart.)