If there was an award for being the most impatient person on the planet, that award would be mine. As such, I am the instant gratification type. If it takes too long for something, I move on. That is why I strive to constantly learn ways to get what I want, right away.
When I first started on my journey of improving the quality of my life, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. I started by reading a book called, ‘500 Ways to Throw Away Stress’, that was given to me as a gift.
What I learned; however, is that happiness wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. I discovered that happiness is very conditional on our outside circumstances.
If things were good, I would feel happy. If things were not going so good, how could I feel happy?
This left me realizing that being happy was not possible, all of the time. Happiness, then, became less of my intention. Instead, I chose to seek out peace.
Peace became the ultimate Holy Grail because I uncovered that I can feel a sense of peace, even when turmoil surrounds me.
Peace is possible when we are in the midst of struggle. Peace is possible when we are grieving and peace is possible when just about everything around us seems dire.
I define peace as a knowing that somehow, someway, it will all work out. Peace is an inner confidence that comforts and supports us when our external circumstances and issues are not working out as planned.
Peace then, can still be felt when we are crying, when we are scared, when we are hurt or when we are struggling to find the pieces of that utterly complicated life puzzle that always seems to be incomplete.
When my husband was several days in the hospital, at a time, I would journey onto the hub trail and snap photos of beautiful images of nature. Did I feel happy that he was in the hospital or suffering with one medical issue after another?
No way… However, I did feel a sense a peace that we could handle it and that I was still able to take in moments of joy, in the middle of it.
Pursuing peace, instead of happiness, has allowed me to calm down when I want to scream, take a deep breath when I hold my breath in anxiety or rest when there is no time to stop.
Peace is a remarkable healer in hard times and a reward in wonderful times. But, how do we get there?
Peace all starts with a belief. We form beliefs about the world, our lives, our family and our experiences and these beliefs can cripple us or empower us. Our beliefs will trigger our thoughts, words and actions.
If we believe that, in order to be happy, things must always function smoothly in our lives, then we are surely setting ourselves up for failure. Life is not smooth. Not one person that I have ever met can describe their life story as smooth.
Most people have endured plenty of pain, various levels of trauma and grief, memories that are difficult and bumps along their journey.
If we can choose to believe, instead, that life is supposed to have ups and downs, highs and lows and challenging and difficult times then, when things are crumbling all around us, we can accept them as part of our journey. Growing and transforming into the strongest version of ourselves requires resistance.
Did you ever know an Olympic athlete who got there from being lazy and unfocused? Did you ever hear of a doctor who would describe their residency and training as fun and easy? Did you ever see a single person who has accomplished a very large goal, who didn’t work their butt off to get there?
Not a chance… People who thrive, got where they are because of the conditioning that their mind and body had to go through, along the way. If we understand this concept, then we can celebrate when things are going rough…
We can learn to embrace the chaos and say, ‘Ok, I guess this is one of those life lessons that is coming to me at this particular time so that I can crush it and triumph’. Well, that is the idea anyway…
We must believe that we are stronger than our circumstances, life events and difficult times so that we can press on and wade through the struggles that face us.
When we believe this about life, then we can feel peace anywhere and anytime. We can feel peace at a funeral or at a hospital. We can feel peace when we are broke or when we are unemployed. We can feel peace when we are challenged, lonely or sad.
Like today, we can even feel a sense of peace when we fall down the stairs and get covered in scrapes and bruises because it is a valid excuse to lay around on the couch, mildly drugged, watching previously recorded chick flicks!
Emotions are meant to give us a full range of opportunities to express ourselves and what we are feeling, but peace is meant to be the tether that keeps us stable and safe and comforted, during the chaos.
Peace is possible… If you are not sure about this, make a list right now of the blessings in your life. Acknowledge all of the things you have to be grateful for. Rhyme off reasons to be appreciative. After all, it is a perfect holiday to celebrate all of the good stuff, that you have going for you.
Even if it all seems hopeless, you can start by acknowledging the fact that you can read these words, see these words, have a computer, have Internet access, have a roof over your head, have electricity, etc. Some people can’t say the same…
It is from this place of gratitude and thankfulness that instant peace is possible…
‘The really happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery, even when they have to take a detour.’ ~ Sir James Jeans