You are seeking happiness and peace. You are not seeking anything else. Whatever may be the activity, whatever may be the thought, you are seeking happiness and joy and peace, nothing else. Let us not waste our time seeking peace and happiness outside of us; let us first find where we lost it, and then all is well.
One place we lose our peace and happiness is in our attachment to a certain outcome. For most of us, our actions and choices come from our ego. It is our vanity. We struggle to make life fit into the expectation, into the understanding that has grown in us over years of practice. We always try to set things right our way. We are like Ananda, who tried to get water for Buddha from a muddy, unsettled stream. While we try to get drinkable water by frantically stirring the water, we remain thirsty; we can’t have water that is clean.
Thus, it often happens when something negative comes to you, that if you try too hard to fix it, if you force the situation, things only get worse. You try to manage things and nothing you do helps. At that point the best thing is to distance yourself a little, to witness the whole situation with a deep sense of trust in the Divine design. Just let go, without muddling with it. If you let go, if you give the outcome to God and trust, there is time. Let time settle it. Time is the healer. We need to accept the heavenly energy that is always available, which can take care of all our problems, provided we learn the art of letting go, provided we surrender our doubt, and give the outcome to God.
Trust and patience are very important in the day-to-day management of our life. Trust in Divine Providence. Trust in the Divine Mother. Trust in the wonderful intelligence of the Cosmic Process. Then have patience. If I want something to heal, I should allow some time. Each attachment, every expectation, is a seed that you sow to reap future unhappiness. There is such beauty in this Divine design! At certain times, sometimes in short intervals, you will be given shock treatments to help you understand that it is not good to expect. The design is continuously operating. You keep expecting that there should be no problems. Eventually, though, you find that you start contemplating, “Should I expect anything at all? Shouldn’t I just let go?”
Don’t bother who stays and who goes in your life. If they are yours, they will never go away and if they are not yours, they will go far away! Live a life that is more sublime than the fragile bondage of expectations that limits your peace and happiness. Don’t cling. Just give, and in giving, learn to enjoy. Or else, in this world of quick changes, you will really end up with lots of inner pains and regrets. That is pretty bad for your health. And when we are healthy in body and mind, life flows in its melody of symphony and that is happiness and peace.
What is really important is to awaken to your Inner Power that is the Positive state of your mind. Chant all the time, “All is well in my life. God is taking care of me, and I love myself as I am. I am a happy soul. I am a peaceful soul.” Even if in reality you are unhappy soul, just don’t accept it; say the opposite, the positive thing. As you say with love and faith and trust that all is well in your life, you will start to create great power within you to boost you up to wonderful beginnings.
Look at the birds, they will show you the way. Birds fly with two wings. So, also if you want to attain a balanced state of happiness and peace, you need to have the two wings of efforts and surrender. As long you are an individual with an identity of your own, you will have to put forth your sincere efforts for anything that you want to achieve in life, from self improvement to self realization. Your self-effort is very important. You have to row your own boat.
But mere self-effort is not enough. You need to have trust in Divine Grace. If you have trust and love for the Divine, your full efforts will assist you in surely reaching your goal. Just practice meditation regularly, and when all is well, bring thoughts of positive light and positive affirmation alive, so that you are soaked with Light of the Divine. Keep trying, don’t look for results, “to work you have the right, but not the fruits thereof,” says Lord Krishna.
You find expectations have been leading you to misery and unhappiness. The time comes that you take stock of the whole thing, even if you don’t read books and don’t attend meditation classes. That doesn’t matter because you are in the meditation class of the universe. Mother Nature will teach you. She teaches me, she teaches everybody. We create miseries with our expectations. Eventually, we learn. It is only when we expect nothing, when we offer ourselves and all outcomes to God, that we are flooded with peace and happiness.