Recently, I read something that suggested that you should first make peace with the outside. With that taken care of, you can more clearly and easily make peace with the inside.
Let’s examine that idea. Can you say, “It’s just the way it is,” can you accept your life as being the way it is right now, while the emotions of your ego mind are still running full throttle?
My first reaction was to say, no. The ego-mind is so strong that if one attempts to deal with the outside separately, it won’t work.
But then I thought of an example from my own life where that wasn’t the case. I have always gotten very upset by the incompetence of others or their unprofessionalism. One time I was traveling by plane to Mexico with a friend and there were many such experiences along the way which agitated me. A lot. I was so agitated that it ruined the trip there for my companion.
And so on the morning of the trip back, I said to myself that I was going to treat everything as “it’s just the way it is.” And in my meditation, I imagined various things happening and responding to those experiences with an “oh well” attitude, and instead being conscious of anything along the way that was a source of happiness, beauty.
And it worked. Nothing agitated me, and I truly found happiness in almost every moment. Just because I was in a different mental/spiritual space. I just did it. I worked around my ego-mind rather than against it. My friend said it was like traveling with a difference person.
That was a game changing experience for me. I knew without any doubt that the reality that I thought I was experiencing was not reality at all. It was my ego-mind’s reaction to reality.
So from my own experience I would say that it is possible, and beneficial, to make peace with the outside first. Then it becomes easier to make peace with the inside, to see that all your emotions, etc., are just a function of your ego-mind, not your true self, and to let them go without feeling that you’re compromising your integrity. You’ve already seen that you can have a fine time even when things happen that would have upset you. You are able to see your emotions as much ado about something small.
So give it a try. Take one specific thing that you are likely to encounter which would normally agitate you and instead have the intent of responding, “it’s just the way it is,” and finding happiness in the moment, something of beauty or interest. And then just do it. Then apply this process to another situation, and then another. Finally apply it to everything you encounter.