No matter how many pretty wrapped boxes we open, no matter how delighted we may be with this or that, no matter how thrilled we are to get something we were hoping for, the experience is fleeting and briefly satisfying. A universe of material things could never fill one soul.
The gifts that do fill our souls and lift our hearts are the gifts we carry with us always, the gifts we often forget we have, and often forget to open. They cannot be boxed and wrapped. They are ethereal and uncontained, and yet whenever we open them, they are all we need. Peace. Love. Joy. Gratitude.
These gifts are innate to us. They are never exhausted, worn or outdated. They are perfect whenever we rediscover them. Finding them is as natural as looking within. “Losing” them is just a matter of looking away. We merely lose sight of them. Look within again, and there they are. They are our human nature. Look into a baby’s eyes, look at a baby’s smile look at a baby’s easy interaction with everything and everyone around. That is the uncontaminated expression of the pure, deep feelings that are our birthright.
Why, then, is there so little peace, so little love, so little joy, so little gratitude in the global condition that spreads itself before us every day? As much as we long for peace on earth and good will to mankind, why are they so elusive?
To me, it’s because the prevailing consciousness in the world is mostly turned away from the infinite and impersonal spiritual gifts humanity naturally shares, and towards the finite and personal gifts people think they need to seek: goods, territory, power, control, influence. Because contentment and ease cannot be generated externally, no matter how hard we try or how much we get, the level of frustration increases, the level of dissatisfaction increases, the blame and hatred and resentments that drive the quest for external rewards increase. The only outcome for living in the constant feeling of “not enough yet” is pain, pain, and more pain. The relentless pursuit of unattainable happiness from things outside of ourselves is eroding the spirit of humanity. Yet, the beautiful gifts we have within are still close at hand. The hope for change is as simple as turning away from the hunt and quieting down, embracing the deeper feelings that bubble to the surface as soon as we let all that frantic personal thinking pass and leave it alone.
When life is all about me, my experience of life spirals down into a small dark cone of insecurity. What about me? What’s in it for me? What do I need? How do I get more? Who’s getting ahead of me? What will make me feel better? When those kinds of questions come to mind, I am thankful that I know now that they don’t mean anything. They are best ignored. They are not information about life, but about the quality of life; they are information about my increasing state of self-focus and insecurity.
When I am all about life, my experience of life expands into an ever widening circle of ease. What about others? How will this affect people? What do we all need? How can we work together? How do we open up new possibilities? How can I share good feelings? When those types of questions come to mind, I am thankful that I know now they do not mean I am losing ground. They are uplifting. They, also, are not information about life, but about the quality of life; they are information about my peace with being a part of the whole of humanity, the whole of life, an increasing state of gratitude and security.
When a critical mass of people find peace within, we will live in a peaceful world. With an understanding that the origin of our individual realities is the energetic expression of the pure force of mind manifested through our thoughts and brought to life by our conscious awareness, we wake up to the power to create each moment of our life experience. If what we are creating is not helpful, does not make sense, is sucking us into insecurity, we can stop, allow all those thoughts to pass and fade into nothing. A quiet mind will create entirely new thoughts.
If what others around us are creating is hurtful or hateful, we can allow those thoughts to pass us by without response, knowing that, unattended, they will diminish, knowing that others, too, can quiet down and get a fresh start.
It seems too simple. Not taking insecure thinking to heart is the opening that admits the illumination of peace, love, joy, gratitude. As simple as it is, though, it depends on each person experiencing that moment of truth, that moment of seeing that thoughts are illusions that come and go, of seeing how readily things change when certain thoughts pass and others come to mind.
Change comes one person at a time, but when it comes, it comes in an instant, in a flash of insight that shows us we are so much more powerful, so much better, so much happier, than we think we are.