We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” ~The Dalai Lama
We all want inner peace. We imagine how it would feel to be free from the worries, cares and stress that seems to fill our lives.
The good news is that inner peace can be cultivated and developed. Like anything worth-while, it doesn’t take some attention and action to achieve.
Peace is waiting within all of us, but unfortunately we often lose our inner peace and let destructive emotions take over.
Next week, I’ll have some ideas and tips for increasing your inner peace. But first we have to plug the leaks. Just as there’s no point in pouring more milk into a bucket with holes, there’s no point in just trying to feel peaceful if you’re too upset to meditate or do other peace-increasing practices. Although I find that desperate prayer ofter works wonders. So you could try that in the meantime.
The first step is, as always, awareness. If we know what to watch out for, we can stop these negative emotions in their track and maintain our calmness.
Here are some of the reasons we lose our peace:
- We Expect Perfection. Sometimes we’re overly critical without realizing it, but we always seem to be striving for an realistic level of perfection. We will make mistakes. Mistakes can even be valuable as a learning experience. How any times does a toddler fall down before she learns to walk? Our brains too are wired to learn by trial and error. You need to allow yourself to make mistakes , learn from them and move on.
- Fear. When we allow fear into our lives, it disturbs the peace. We need to conquer our fears—or accept them for what they are—in order to restore a peaceful balance.
- Anger and Resentment. Some people don't realize that strongly negative emotions like anger and resentment are detrimental to their health and well-being. If these emotions arise, it's important to take a few deep breaths and release them. Or if it’s a big issue, you may need professional help.
- Overwhelm. In this fast paced world, it's easy to take on too much. If we start to feel too stressed out, we lose our interior freedom. Some busyness is unavoidable, even beneficial to put out a lot of energy to accomplish something we believe in. Over-busyness only becomes a problem when it’s relentless. We need to balance busy periods with relaxing, recharging times.
- Resistance. Much of our stress is caused by our resistance to reality. Accept challenges and accept your situation. Once you surrender and deal with the situation you’re given, you’ll no longer have to deal with the negative emotions that might be fighting with you. If you can accept the worst-case scenario, then there’s nothing to worry about!
- Regrets. Regrets can cloud your current thinking with thoughts of the past that are unchangeable. When we regret the past, we lose the opportunity for peace in the present moment.
Everything Happens For a Reason
You have to remember that everything happens for a reason and everyone has a purpose. Think about everything in your life that you’re happy about and things that make you proud, and allow that to bring you joy. Remember that peace usually accompanies positive emotions.
You might regret a decision or a certain thing that happened to you. However, those negative things had to happen in order for you to live the life that you have now. The positive things would not be there without the negative ones too. You can find peace again by remembering that everything balances out.
If you've lost your peace and negative emotions are the culprit, try meditation. You can discover many things about yourself and achieve inner peace by using this simple practice.
The heart of meditation is accepting things as they are. Meditate on the fact that you need to accept all emotions in order to become free.
Achieving Inner Peace
Inner peace doesn't have to be achieved by any set rule. The most important thing to remember is to find something that works for you personally.
Set aside a certain amount of time each day that you can dedicate to maintaining peace. It could be meditation, listening to your favorite music, or taking a bath. Whatever it is, when you take these simple steps, you’ll achieve an unshakeable freedom within you!