Ive been toying with the idea of whether or not I have inner peace. Its elusive when I concentrate on practicing it, and Im beginning to think that pursuit of it isn’t the goal…HAVING it is. There are steps I can take to prepare my mind to accept and embrace it though.
Heres what I thought it was:
Nice house; nice things, outwardly happy family; my needsmore than met, wantseither satisfied or within reach. Nice picture, isnt it? Looks complete. But why, in the face of all these things, was I still searching for it. The happy image was complete, but instead of inner peace, I was living with a tortured mind.
The financial security didnt cure my restless heart. My husbands importance at work was impressive to many, but it wasnt the key to contentment.
My attempt at possessing exquisite external beauty (physical or environmental) didnt counter the ugliness of internal unrest. Nothing in the outside world could stabilize my turmoil; not even drinking or the substance abuse I used as a means of trying to grab hold of that elusive and anesthetized synthetic peace.
I think Ive figured out three things that are starting to unburden and subsequently strengthen my inner realm. I think theyre essential and Im trying to cultivate them:
Solitude, attitude and gratitude.
SOLITUDEOf late, the solitude Ive experienced, due to of a number of factors, has brought me peace. If Im afraid to just be with just me, it might mean I have a lot of emotional turbulence to navigate.
I have dedicated a “timespace” for solitude because Im finding its one of the most important routes to inner peace. If I can sift through distractions, self-deception, noise of the outer world before finding stillness, I just might encounter the perfect place to converse with God. Its hard, but I am fine-tuning myself to get past the static caused by the right side of the pole.
Even five minutes alone could send some people into a tailspin. When they cant find the company of others, they try to throw themselves into some other activity. WhiIe I am learning to appreciate the stillness of occasional seclusion, I have to remain vigilant that it doesnt become an emerging symptom of the left side of my disorder.
Surpassing chaos allows majesty of the Spirit to be released. My intuition sharpens. My creativity increases. Harmony resounds.
ATTITUDEI find that two people who endure similar hardships have dissimilar outcomes. One person, whether or not he or she comes out on top, is not devastated by the experience. The other is. The difference is in how the hardships are perceived.
Much of what happens to me is neutral in nature. Im the one attaching personal meaning to events. Undoubtedly, some of my situations are intensely difficult, but I have the choice to either gain wisdom from them or wallow in the pain.
GRATITUDEIt is half of the conversation I have with God. If Im not involved in the dialogue it means I either have a sense of entitlement or a sense of insignificance both of which are characteristics of ego, and Im constantly battling that.
I want spiritual equilibrium. I know these essentials influence my experience of the world and its inhabitants. Without them…all outward action is futile. Without them…my disorder would have me in its grasp. With them…I allow God to be in control. I allow his Son to intercede on my behalf. I can easier decree healing.