Somewhere along the line, we have gotten it wrong. Somehow we’ve convinced ourselves that peace is a destination. The concept that peace is something we must find outside of ourselves is incorrect, to say the least.
Peace is something that we are. That’s the trick, we just are peace. We must breathe peace and be peace. It starts with us and spreads outward. We can search all day for it but if we’re looking externally our search will not only be long and frustrating, but ultimately fruitless.
In order to find a life of peace, we must cultivate it within ourselves. This is not an easy task for we must learn to detach ourselves from the negative emotions we’ve become so codependent on as our way of coping with unmet expectations. Our anger, jealousy, and aggression have become our way of voicing displeasure to the outside world.
Yet, who gave us the right to assume that others must bow to our whimsical nature and flights of fancy? We are not here to be pleased by others. Nor are we here to please others. Our free will is a great gift, but it is a gift we have squandered by our desire to consume more, to have more, to collect more than the person living next door.
True peace comes when we no longer demand others to serve us, and we become a servant of the Universe. More and more people are beginning to realize that the old paradigm of consumerism was never a manner in which human beings were meant to live. Peace is found inside of us when we’ve begun to master our own emotional responses.
Peace does not mean we’ve got everything we want, rather it means that we have accepted and are grateful for the things in our life that we do have. I’m not suggesting that we stop striving for the things we do not have, but that we should be thankful for the things in our life. Also, that we are grateful for the things that we do not have.
At one time, I loved a woman who didn’t love me back. I cursed the names of her and any man she would talk to. Now, not only was I displeased with life and overlooked all of the blessings I had been bestowed but I was angry with people that had no knowledge of my feelings towards this woman. It destroyed my peace, it caused me much discomfort to see her happy with someone else.
What I eventually realized was that I’d let my expectations and wants control my emotional responses. I’d not only ruined my chance for peace but I’d also alienated a lot of people who were otherwise sympathetic to my pain. Some of this people tried to help me see that not getting what I wanted was a blessing in itself.
Time went on and I got over myself and my anger. Then, one day as I sat in a bar having a drink and waiting for a friend a man sat next to me and introduced himself. Apparently, I looked confused and he began to tell me that he was the man I’d been so angry with for having the eye of the woman I’d wanted so intently.
He went on to explain that I was lucky after all. Before I could even protest he went on to tell me about how this woman had cheated on him multiple times and brought home more than just the scent of another man. She had contracted an std and passed it to him.
He told me that, in the end, I was the lucky one that was now healthy as he was not. The reality of it was that this woman I had put high upon a pedestal was nothing to have been coveted in the long run and he continued on that for the rest of his life he would be paying for that decision. He began to apologize for hurting my feelings and I stopped him and told him that it was I that needed to apologize for the way I had acted.
It was then that the lesson was clear. Sometimes, not getting what we want IS the true blessing from the Universe and that allowing someone or something destroys the peace in our heart over something of a passing whim is not only detrimental to our peace but ultimately to our well-being.
That man and I are still friends to this day. And whenever either of us is being selfish and child-like, we remind each other of her name and just like that we are reminded of the lesson we both learned. Sometimes, it is better not to get your way. And that, our peace is not dependent on external circumstance to exist.
So when you find yourself wishing for peace, take a moment to remember that peace begins with you. It cannot be any other way. Everyone deserves peace. Learning to set aside our notions that we deserve anything in life or that we’re owed anything is a huge step towards actualizing our peace.
Make your efforts in finding peace an internal quest and I assure you that you’ll find that peace within. Turn your intentions inwards and be happy and grateful for all that you have. In that, you’ll truly find your peace.