No matter where you go in life, you’ll find that humans share similar goals: we are all seeking happiness, success, good health, wealth, and love. Some are fortunate to acquired some or all of them. And yet as quickly as we obtain them we can lose them or they can disappoint and hurt us. You study and prepare for the career of a lifetime, reaching the pinnacle of success only to suffer the consequences of a failing economy. At the end of a long day you return home from work to a wonderful family but all you do is bicker with one another. The nice home, fancy toys, and huge stock portfolio do little to add to the overall enjoyment of life. Even with all of your acquisitions your ability to be happy is seriously impaired. At times, life hardly seems worth the effort. It’s easy to become disillusioned and wonder if there isn’t something more. In fact – there is. What’s far more important than all of the above combined is something few people actively seek until they have reached a point of desperation – that is inner peace.
Inner peace is not some new-age ethereal concept reserved only for enlightened gurus who sit high atop lonely mountains isolated from the realities of this harsh world contemplating the meaning of life.
Inner peace is a chosen state of being wherein one remains emotionally unaffected by outward circumstances.
It is the ability to find value in each of life’s experiences; to realize that everything is exactly as it is mean to be; that each experience is a part of a greater purpose; to be able to face life in faith, not fear; to Align with the Divine and live in full accordance with God’s Laws; to live to please God and only God.
There are three key areas we must address to create peace in our lives:
Within: making peace with yourself
1) Peace originates within each of us. Know that each experience, no matter how pleasant or unpleasant it may be, is an essential part of your spiritual journey. Embrace and appreciate the value in each.
2) Forgive yourself for the mistakes you made. They were all lessons in disguise.
3) Refrain from comparing yourself to others. Love and appreciate who you are. Separate your intrinsic value from your learned behavior. You are a perfect child of God. Period.
Family: healing the rifts
1) Reduce the number of demands you place on one another. No one is here to live up to anyone else’s expectations. Accept each other “as is”. Each is on their own personal journey towards enlightenment.
2) Set boundaries for any inappropriate behaviors being fair, realistic, and loving at all times.
3) Forgive the imperfections of others as you have forgiven your own.
4) Focus only on changing yourself. All attempts to change others are arrogant and self-righteous (and may I add futile?).
World: finding peace with others
1) Remove all negative judgments and labels. Value and appreciate the uniqueness of each.
2) See each individual as a sacred child of Almighty God. See them through His eyes only.
3) Calmly and fairly negotiate your differences making certain that your primary concern is the well-being of the other party.
4) If you are unable to resolve your differences, accept the circumstances as they are and, if necessary, gently release the other party wishing them well and move on.
Keep in mind that in each circumstance, the above solutions are all interchangeable. Living in peaceful harmony is our birth right. Somewhere along the line, ego gained control and sabotaged our natural intended state of being . However, we are spiritual beings and must call upon our true nature to reclaim what is Divinely ordained. The interesting thing about peace is that once you have achieved it, happiness, love, success, and health all flow effortlessly into your life.
Peace begins within each one of us and extends outward towards family, friends, communities, and globally. Only when we create peace within do we stand a chance of ever achieving world peace. The time to begin is now.
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” (Prayer of St. Francis)
“We cannot be a world at peace until we are first a people of peace.” The Secret Side of Anger by Janet Pfeiffer
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