We are in the generation of finding inner peace being a life goal. I won’t say in previous generations it wasn’t heard of because of course some of the people I’ve learned from were before my time. I will say that I think in the previous generation there were people that took on the idea that a part of being an adult was dealing with chaos and sucking it up. Inner peace wasn’t as high on the goals list as it is now.
I for one struggled with inner peace. When I first was introduced to the concept all I could think about was perfection. Those that have inner peace like Mother Teresa must have life all figured out I thought. I’ve struggled with trying to be perfect for others for the majority of my life so let’s just say I wasn’t sold on the idea. Once I did further research I found that inner peace didn’t mean having a good day always, but simply striving to maintain optimism, gratitude, and perspective.
My journey has and continues to teach me things about myself. Although, I’ve learned countless things about inner peace, here are three things striving for inner peace has taught me thus far.
1. “Use your emotions to think, don’t think with your emotion”
I am the first to admit I am an emotion-based person. I usually lead with my emotions and as you can imagine this is exhausting. As I began this journey, I realized I didn’t know what triggered the emotion, I didn’t understand the emotion itself at times, and I was being controlled by my emotions. I begin to take this journey seriously and do the work to understand myself. It’s not that I wanted to rid myself of emotion because it makes me human. I simply wanted to learn to use my emotions to think. I wanted to be able to know myself and make a decision on if I want to address something or if I could push through it myself. Before I would impulsively react and now I think I’m able to think something through and decide what I want to do with it. I still have my off days but as you’ll see this journey isn’t about perfection it’s about peace.
2. Enjoy the small things
I know this seems like a no-brainer but it’s hard to do. I was fixated on obtaining materials and money. I figured that this wouldn’t fix everything but it’d put a smile on my face. Well I’m 25, single, and I don’t have to want for anything. Anything I really want I have no issue buying. So, I’m earning the money and buying the things but I feel no increase in happiness. It was time to wake up. It was time to figure out what I really liked and what brought me happiness. I figured out it was small things like my friends telling me they appreciated my help, a baby smiling at me (I love babies), the pouring rain and the shining sun etc. I know one of ya’ll thinks it’s corny but
these things brought me joy and it made me happy to be alive. The more I sat with myself and discovered what inner peace looked like to me, I realized the small stuff is what I really wanted to experience on a daily basis.
3. Everything isn’t a personal attack
I always had the idea that people were coming for me or I did something wrong. I had to refocus and realize everything isn’t about me and people are dealing with their own stuff. This realization really began to help me acquire peace because it helped my anxiety and brought me clarity. Clarity around the fact that I was assuming my way through everything, assuming this person disliked me etc. I wasn’t able to be present because if I work with people all day my mind is consistently preoccupied with monitoring my behavior. I had to continuously remind myself to let things go and do the best I can.