We can find inspiration anywhere. Sometimes I find inspiration by watching movies on Netflix. Recently, I watched “Pappadapolous & Sons,” which is a movie about a man’s sense of self-discovery through loss, success, failure, and family. In the end, he comes to define success very differently than he did while achieving material success.
The main character’s conclusion was: “Success is the joy you feel.”
What a perfect definition of success! I don’t believe I have ever heard a more perfect spiritual definition of success.
Joy is so tied in with love and peace, that to achieve true joy (not just happiness), we have to be filled with a sense of peace in our lives, and we have to be flowing with love for those around us. I believe that the fulfillment of any of these three, love, peace, and joy, entails at least a partial fulfillment of each of the other two.
What do you need to do to reach greater joy in your life?
To achieve greater love, we need to recognize that love is not just a feeling, it is also a choice, and a commitment. Love isn’t fulfilled when it is just a fleeting feeling.
We can commit ourselves to love. Can we also commit ourselves to joy and peace?
The only way I know to achieve a commitment to joy and peace is through the practice of non-attachment, which also can help us in our commitment to love others.
When we maintain an attitude of non-attachment, we place love, and joy, and peace above any event, thing, or expectation of others.
Non-attachment and understanding go hand-in-hand.
A friend recently remarked that I never, or at least rarely, express anger. I found this remark interesting, because I have often felt frustrated and hurt by this friend’s behavior. However, I am also aware that I have constantly chosen to let go of anger, and hurt, recognizing that what hurts is not just the person’s behavior, but my own thoughts about their behavior.
So, if I feel upset, I know that I only have to look at what I am thinking, because I can change my thinking, and stop feeling upset.
How do you do that? During my Progressive Counselling training at the Self-Realization Meditation Healing Centre, I learned that instead of judging people’s behavior, we need to seek to understand why they behaved as they did. We can only understand someone else’s behavior through the eyes of empathy.
In other words, instead of just feeling upset, thinking that someone did something on purpose to be hurtful, or that they just don’t care, etc., we need to step back, simply observe what they said or did, notice how we feel, notice what we are thinking about what they said or did, and then, ask for Higher help understanding why they did what they did.
When we are at the point that we can intuitively receive help understanding why people did things that seem hurtful to us, then it is easier to understand that the hurtfulness had reasons interior to the person, and only secondarily to what we have said or done.
As always, we do need to accept responsibility for our own actions and words, but we do not need to take ownership of how the other person feels about our actions and words. We need to care about how they feel, but not own their feelings. It is enough work to own our own feelings honestly and responsibly.
Please note that I also find myself asking for different behavioral choices from this friend, and that the loving way to interact with people does include kindly requesting what we need and what we would like for our own happiness. We still need to maintain non-attachment to their choices, however, which can get tricky, because sometimes we need to protect ourselves from truly hurtful choices if the person does not stop making them.
When we can consistently relate to others with non-attachment to the hurtfulness of their choices, understanding that they have their own reasons for their choices, we can more easily remain in this state of love, peace, and joy. When we remain in this state of love, peace, and joy, we are better able to share this wondrous way of being with others.
May you find your way to joy, love, and peace, and may you experience that success forever.
Love and Light,