I have been learning a lot, primarily about myself, as I’ve been exploring happiness over the last 4 months. It’s so fascinating when you set yourself up on an experiment like this, the opportunity to learn things, and uncomfortable things, about yourself is huge.
I haven’t always liked what I’ve learned about me. It’s a tough school sometimes.
But I continue on.
And if you haven’t caught up with my forays into the landscape of happiness, you can check it all out here.
Happiness and inner calm
This weekend, I’d like to share with you a story I read recently about happiness. Well it’s about inner calm, but to me that has a lot to do with happiness. They are not interchangeable terms, but they sure are connected.
I am happiest when (#18)
This story reminds me that I can be happy, or have a sense of inner calm, no matter what is happening around me.
I can be happy, and have a sense of inner calm, when all is raging around me.
I am happiest when I remember the punchline, the moral, of this story.
There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures. But there were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.
All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and imposing. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.
But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest – in perfect peace.
Which picture do you think won the prize?
The king chose the second picture. Can you imagine why?
“Because,” explained the king, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.”