“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” – Peace Pilgrim
How do we find peace within ourselves? This is probably a question that has dumbfounded philosophers and scholars alike. I think it is a personal undertaking. The primary way to achieve peace is to simply love yourself. I am not talking about a narcissistic exercise but one of truthfully looking at one’s actions, failures, triumphs, and successes and just getting to a place where you are ok with all of it.
I know in my life I have hurt a lot of people. Sometimes I hurt them intentionally; other times by accident. Nonetheless I did it. It took many years of contemplation and reflection to arrive at a place where I can look back and truly forgive myself for the things I have done that I am not that proud of.
There has also been a great deal of failures. Failures caused by procrastination (not taking the shot when I had it), not taking the time to really plan something out and just sort of winging it, or even situations when everything was in alignment and failed. These failures are what makes me who I am today.
So, I think the best way to find peace is to truly forgive and love yourself. Whether you visualize yourself as an adult or a young child, forgive yourself. You did the best you could in the situation you were in. You acted with the knowledge you had. Even if the actions you made were wrong, forgive yourself. Even if you failed, acknowledge the failure and forgive yourself.
Attitude is another aspect of peace. I find many people who are unhappy with their lives, choose one of two things: 1) they are revolting against reality; 2) they are revolting against change. Reality is what you have. It’s the job you have, the marriage or relationship you are in, the relationship you are not in, the money you have, the money you do not have.
I read a quote a few years back and it still makes sense today. Everything is in its rightful place in the worlds of God. That means everything. Subsequently, the choice each of us must make is whether we are ok with our reality or need to change it. We also must come to grips with the realization that there are some things you will not change, and you have ZERO control over.
If we can change our situation (we have the power and the desire) then change it. If you’re in a bad job, find another one. If you are in a bad relationship leave it and find another one. If you are unhappy with your body, start working out and eat right. If you are unhappy with world hunger, get involved, but do not expect this reality to change. There will always be world hunger, poverty, war, and all the rest. We human beings are just wired to hurt one another. Change what you can change and accept the rest. Truly find happiness within you. Your attitude is what makes the difference.
Happiness is related to peace. When you are happy the world is right, your situation is right, everything is just right. How many of us let outside circumstances dictate our mood, our happiness, our peace? I firmly believe that there are some people that are happy being unhappy. There is always something outside themselves that makes them unhappy. They are always chasing happiness. Yet, they won’t do anything about it, but complain. Complain to their parents, complain to their friends, complain to their siblings. Complain, complain, complain. They are like a broken record that plays the same song over and over and over. Friends, family, and colleagues try to tell them, “Hey, can you play a different song?” They don’t like the song, but don’t want to change the record, because they are so “comfortable” with what’s playing.
I hope today’s post finds you well. If any of this hit a nerve, I hope you decide to forgive yourself. I hope you make the changes to your reality that you can. It will make your life more relaxing and will help you see that peace, happiness, and contentedness are all yours right now—if you realize it.
Until next time…