Tranquility within

The lilac grove at Montreal Botanical Garden is a great place to re-visit in my mind!  May 2009

The lilac grove at Montreal Botanical Garden is a great place to re-visit in my mind! May 2009

“When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.”François La Rochefoucauld

We’ve all known people who are restless and never satisfied.  Often these types are blessed with better-than-average advantages in life, but they seem to end up agitated and critical no matter how many times they change scenarios.  I think many of us go through phases, or at least have days, when we can sympathize with this sort of discontent.

Yet La Rochefoucauld does not speak of inner tranquility as a passive constant– note that he speaks of finding tranquility within. To me, this suggests that sometimes we do have to search for it, but we need to look first inside our own hearts and minds.  Ultimately, externals do not determine whether we succeed in finding peace.  Those who are continually blaming other people or tough circumstances for their unhappiness may be overlooking themselves as the most obvious influence on their own moods.

Having said that, let’s remember it’s possible to choose places, people and situations that will stack the deck in our favor when it comes to establishing a calm spirit.  I hope you have at least a few tranquil places, serene people and beatific experiences to help center you deep inside when the storms rage outside.  Lovely photos, soft music, scents of lavender and vanilla, a few deep breaths — there are many ways to light the path to the tranquil sanctuary we carry within us.  I wish you a quick getaway to spend at least a few minutes there today!

One year ago today:

Being peace

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.

3 Comments

  1. Good morning, Julia!
    At first, I thought La Rochefoucauld was speaking of knowing tranquility within; for example, if a friend asked you to help find a lost cat, it is helpful to have an internal concept of “what a cat is.”
    But to your point, “find” is an action that requires effort. I appreciate your making the distinction. Even if I understand the concept of peace or tranquility, I may need to invest some effort within myself, to create a space where I can receive the tranquility that may be offered by external situations (like the environment).
    Thanks, Julia! Have a splendid day!

    • Susan, this is one of those posts that is written mainly as a reminder to myself. Until I can “take every thought captive” as Paul so wisely exhorts us to do, asking for tranquility to come find me is a little like expecting physical fitness to be achieved by sitting in front of a television. Discipline is required even more in mental fitness than it is in physical fitness– and is, I think, often even harder.

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

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