One Road to Chase Eternal Joys And Serene Living
Broaden your perspective on life to live lightly — in a state of eternal bliss.
“No sky is heavy if the heart be light.” — Charles Churchill
From my earliest childhood, I had aquaphobia. As time went by, I learned to cope with phobic reactions. But even on the days when splashes would give me enough fright, I felt a connection with water.
I longed to be free (of fear) just like the fresh air surrounding tranquil tides. Part of me wanted to feel serenity of water.
What if we choose to live as lightly as serene water?
Rumi’s soulful poetry chimes in and rings so true in almost every facet of life but many of us have trouble in emotional experience of joy Rumi promised in these words,
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” — Rumi.
We are under the impression that chasing our passion with heart and soul is a way to guarantee happiness.
Rumi, on the other hand, is asking us to do the things our pure soul wants. And the soul, and eternal happiness for that matter, has nothing to do with our past, future, relationships, goals, failures.
For the soul, there is no way to happiness, except for making one with happiness.
The eternal happy moments in my life weren’t the times when I earned love or an accomplishment. They weren’t the times when I chased my passion in anything. They were the little moments when I pushed aside my perceptions of human behavior to see beyond the words — to broaden my perspective.
When I practiced kindness in situations that would’ve ruined my thoughts, I embraced my soul. When I ditched my perspective to enrapture myself with obscure possibilities — I felt completion in those moments.
“The perfection of human nature is sweetness and light.” — Mathew Arnold
Months ago someone left an offensive comment on my post on a social media platform. My thoughts easily enter into overthinking mode and so I prefer not to actively use the platforms — where I cannot choose the people I hang out with.
To live a clutter-free life my soul beseeched me to practice kindness regardless of that person’s emotional motive. This was a sane way to bury *that* stuff in a coffin for good — to free my soul from an invisible burden.
Instead, I ignored the comment — only to subconsciously deepen it’s roots in my mind and heart.
I had to honor my self-esteem and for it, I sacrificed the happiness of my soul.
That day I realized how our self-esteem robbes us of living a serene life by wasting time and spiritual energy. It helds us in invisible prison in invisible ways.
The incident asked to broaden my limited perception.
My immediate thoughts — inclined to that behavior weighed me down.
To change the track of my thoughts I needed to give them a glimpse of the reason — a reason that might have provoked that comment.
But I had no obvious reason because of my limited point of view.
The point is, there is always a barrier in our way to embracing our souls — in living a serene life — but beyond that barrier, there is an enlightened road.
I believe we no more live in that world where every Tom, Dick, and Harry’s opinion could influence our lives. We’ve learned to build walls around ourselves as a shield from provocation.
Similarly, we’ve learned to draw a line between disagreement and conflict. Though there are (tenacious) exceptions.
Agree to disagree is a positive approach many of us practice to live a comfortable life.
But there are (non-provocative) situations when people on both sides of a story are right depending on their limited perception.
Sometimes we misunderstand others — and sometimes others get a wrong impression of our words. The little misunderstanding keeps us from serene living as well.
We accept one side of the story and restrict our perspective.
In both of these situations, by sticking to our point of view, we search for eternal happiness in our world while world has little to offer — as lasting changes always come from within ourselves.
Broadening the perspective on life doesn’t mean loving someone just for his cruelty. It does not, in any way, mean to harm our self-respect. Nor does it means to change our beliefs to agree with them — or force ourselves to spend time with them. Because
“If you know who you are, no one can convince you to be who you are not.” — Matshona Dhliwayo
It simply means to improve the overall quality of life by adding more depth to our outlook on life — it means to love all our fellow humans regardless of their behavior to remain calm and free.
It means to,
“Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.” — Walt Whitman
When I started my journey of broadening my perspective, I felt blindspots in my all vulnerable memories. I felt emotionally worn out whenever I thought about that part of my life from my perspective.
The things that I have learned till now implore me to accept my life not just for the sake of acceptance but by embracing another side of the story.
As Dalai Lama said,
“When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others.” — Dalai Lama
Now I feel myself on a bridge that spans over a calm ocean but the other end has just begun to unveil itself. There is still a long way to go.
The journey to serene life:
Nonviolent souls believe they have a nonjudgmental and broad outlook on life. Limited perception is one of the many human weaknesses. The sooner we accept this reality, the easier it is to find peace and love in humanity.
A study in the book World Peace Really: One Mind @ A Time tells the majority of people guessed different numbers of F’s in the example below.
Finished files are the result
of years of scientific
study combined with
the experience of many years.
The reason, as you might know, is our reading patterns. Those of us who read phonetically miss the F’s in of.
So being sure of our perspective, we perceive things accordingly and ignore the other side of the story.
As the author notes the connection between limited perception and misunderstandings, he continues,
“The damage we do when we limit ourselves to a single side of stories is that we treat them as truth. Do you have a single story about Iran, Israel, Darfur, Haiti? How about closer to home, do you have a single story about your neighbors in U.S., Canada, or Mexico?(…)Try writing it down. How does it look on paper? The thing about your truth is that it is not everyone’s truth. There can be no single truth for the world’s 6.6 billion people, not when truth is based on individual perceptions, which in turn are based on conditioning and experience.”
He further tells when we only perceive things from our side we put a lock on mind. We feel other’s behavior is wrong and this feeling adds vulnerability to our memories.
It’s a defense mechanism that helps us survive but it also damages us because flexibility is needed.
On the other hand, when we broaden our perspective, we begin to relax into peace by accepting that there might be other ways to see the story — other than what our limited perception can see. It isn't easy especially in vulnerable situations but acceptance leaves us with little reason to feel vulnerable.
The problem of immediate stream of thoughts:
When we accept that there is another side of story, still we face the same immediate explosive thoughts — that are provoked by our one-sided perception as I mentioned above in my story.
The author Jamie Smart in his book about clarity of mind writes,
“Thought is like the special-effects department of a movie studio. Its job is to create a perceptual reality that looks, sounds, and feels real, regardless of the “facts” of the situation.
He further explained, one thought-generated perceptual reality is like an iceberg — a facade that hides our invisible thoughts — our secret desire for peace and love. Our thoughts rob us of clarity of mind and contaminate our minds — and precious moments of our life.
These immediate thoughts keep us in the imprisonment of emotional explosion — at least for a while.
A study shows 90 percent of decisions we make are stirred by emotions. We justify them with logic later.
And even if we somehow ignore the emotional explosion still our emotions find a way to tune our memories. And emotionally tuned memories last longer as in my case.
Decluttering a cabinet after a month is way different from not letting the clutter find a way to our cabinet. Similarly, the bitterness of a few seconds stops us from embracing our soul — from living serene life.
The only thing we need to do there is to find a way to dodge our inauthentic thoughts — to uncover pure and peaceful thoughts — in both provocative and non-provocative situations.
How to dodge these thoughts by curiosity mindset?
Practicing tolerance is not always easy. The thunders wagging before and inside us rattle our faith in being tolerant.
But what if we leave our mind with Hobson’s choice of choosing tolerance?
As I said above, we only have to give a reason to our thoughts to change their track — and uncover innate clarity and resilience.
To swap our inauthentic thoughts with pure thoughts, we have to fuel the flames of curiosity — to detach feelings and inauthentic thoughts and start thinking afresh.
Curiosity inspires action or response rather than misguiding a reaction and hence does not let us fall off the wagon.
Nurturing a curiosity mindset doesn’t mean overthinking about the other side(s) of the story until you feel like hitting your head with a wall.
It only means to be curious until calming sensation sets in. It means to disarm and diffuse one-sided situation with an open mind.
And when we uncover our resilient self — our world changes for the better.
The war to take control of our emotions is never ending. But when we are curious about everything that happens to us we create beauty out of nothing — we create beauty out of frustrations. And we move one step closer to embracing our soul.
“The moment your candle started burning, you increase the amount of light available for everyone, and the darkness is further diminished.” — Jamie Smart
So by cultivating curiosity, we get enough time to uncover our pure thoughts.
It’s not our job to please every living soul. But it certainly is our job to find happiness and whole life for ourselves.
Whether it is a minor disagreement or a conflict, everything we experience has enormous power to create ourselves and our world.
Nothing is sure but as we get a deeper understanding individually, we learn to live each day to the fullest. Our world changes only when we’re curious enough to see beyond our perspective.
“We cannot alter objective facts. But subjective interpretation can be altered as much as one likes. And we are inhabitants of a subjective world.” — Ichiro Kishimi
We all have a river of unconditional love in our hearts, when we try to understand and love others, we feel that river running through our souls.