The key to realising that goal is self-knowledge as we each possess the ability to achieve happiness and a meaningful life. Over the many years I have challenged myself to see for who I clearly was, beyond ignorance and selfish troublesome emotions, to love and compassion. On my journey to happiness and content I have stumbled across my own arrogance, superficiality, selfishness and self-importance. I felt demoralised and guilty for not achieving my goal soon enough. No one else needed to make me feel bad about myself, I was doing marvellous job of that anyway. I knew I self-sabotaged my short term happiness-es and friendships at huge costs over many years. However, that is not implying that one should stay in toxic relationships. Eventually, I was invited to face powerful inner emotions that not only made me feel overwhelmed, anxious and uncomfortable, also I would visualised my mind as a gentle boat in a raging sea of emotions. How was I going to gain this self-knowledge that I so yearn to discover and I knew was the key to my happiness and content?
I persisted and allowed myself to fail many times, reminding myself to be patient and feel every excruciating emotion within, not to run away from it but embrace it. I needed to develop strong will and radical acceptance of myself, I kept focused on the reward at the end of the challenging journey against all odds. I knew I had a lot of baggage I carried with me, anger, jealousy, lust, perfectionism, judgements. My belief system was serving me no good anymore and I had to change certain elements of it. Restructure was pivotal. I learnt from others around me and over time I began to see myself in everyone, those parts of me which I alienated, suddenly I began to open up to and acknowledge their existence within me. I would tell myself ‘Show me who I am’ each time I spoke with someone. ‘Can I see it within me?’ I no longer felt like I was the only one in this world, I slowly gained a sense of belonging in the world which surrounded me and the world within. I felt part of everyone and everything, interconnected. I began to feel human and whole again.
I faced and broke down the illusions, fantasies I have superimposed over and beyond what actually exists, and learnt how to act in the world from a more realistic framework, noticing how everything depends on thought. I was the thought! Whose thought was I? Separated from who?
Big question – How to get there? Your journey is only your journey. May sound cliche, however that is the fact! I realised, no one was going to do this for me, it was something I decided to do and I knew it was not going to be easy! After all, I had forty years of the same learnt behaviour and failings, I knew I had to be realistic. You can however begin to search online for guidance, and go with your intuition, try different ways, however be prepared to fail. Success comes from trials and failings, it is not instant. That is illusion that many fall for, it is a trap. Your mind will not want to change so easily, it will challenge you and put obstacles in front of you. The more mindful and tranquil you become, tougher the challenge ahead of you. Imagine going up a very steep hill, start of light, getting harder and more testing as you go up. That is how the process to reaching and achieving inner happiness and content works. Once you find it within, hold on to it, only truth can set you free. The truth of who you are, where you want to be and who you have become. Power lies in self-knowledge, not external, superficial materialistic things and toys. With self-knowledge you reach emotional maturation. The best gift to your self, ultimate gift of love and open heart.