Welcome back to The Spiritual Serenity Series: 7 Steps to Inner Peace and Happiness. Last week we looked at Acceptance. This week, we are going to look at identification.
Step 3: Identification
Now that I have accepted what needs to change, I can identify what areas I need to work on. Remember, just because we accept something, does not mean we have to like it.
I identified that a self-destructive life run on self-will had seriously contaminated my thinking over the years. The void inside my soul existed no matter what I filled it with; be it money, profession, alcohol, relationships, etc., nothing worked. I was emotionally and spiritually bankrupt and as a result, my thinking was extremely misguided.
Nadia over at HappyLotus said it nicely in her post The First Step to Happiness:
“Usually the desire for material items as a means to happiness is a cover for an emotional issue. Granted this is not always the case … So be careful to distinguish why you want certain things and that will be the first step of your journey to finding happiness.”
It wasn’t hard to identify that I was not happy. A constant cloud of doom-and-gloom seemed to follow me everywhere. The feeling, I believe, started at the age of twenty. After becoming a zookeeper—a childhood dream—I discovered I was not satisfied and resigned to the fact that I never would be.
I was suffering from a spiritual malady. I was trying to fill a spiritual hole with material things. I think I knew this for years but resisted any real change. In other words, I refused to accept it. I would attend church here or there, shopping around for something spiritual I could connect with. However, the thought of turning my will and life over to a mystical power was out of the question. That was until I reached a bottom (one of many) on March 12th of 2006. It was then that something snapped. I walked out of that despair with a new resolve. I would abandon every conceived notion of what I perceived life to be about up to that point. I would ask for help and do whatever it took to get better, even if it meant believing in something I could not see. If my life was to continue, it would be on a different path, for the one I was living was not worth the pain anymore. As the saying goes, I was not afraid of dying, but was scared to death of living another day.
Many of these steps I suggest are most valuable when we have someone to help us through them. For me, it was a spiritual adviser as well as counselors and therapist. Finding a person who can help us learn about ourselves, and is trained to do so, can be invaluable.
I identified that my life had become unmanageable. Left on my own, I would destroy myself. What I needed was something more powerful than myself to believe in. I was ill equipped in living up to the self-imposed expectations of myself, the world around me, and my place in it. I identified that if I was to keep on living, I needed serious help.
So now that I’ve identified that something needs to change, and we’re not talking about something simple here like geographical or material. We need to have a complete change in our thinking—a psychic change! For that we’re going to need some help which I’ll talk about next on self-searching.
Have you identified any real big changes that need to take place in your life? Share in the comments!
The next step in The Serenity Series is Self-Searching. I’m really looking forward to this one! Its going to be a little longer post since its where some real amazing things started happening for me. I love this stuff! And I love all of you! Thanks for stopping by again.
Next up, step 4: Self-Searching
UPDATE: It is my intent to have posts here at
How To Be Happy will continue to be mostly on a weekly basis I hope. I try to hold myself to at least one good post per week. Since I’ve finished school, I’m done with deadlines for a while and am working on several other projects. However, I am hoping to post some short videos of myself and what I’m working on soon. Just to make things more personal—probably in between these more serious topics.
photo credit: h.koppdelaney