"Nothing can bring you peace of mind but yourself."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The punishment of every disordered mind is its own disorder."
- St. Augustine
As I sat down at my laptop tonight, mulling over what to write for tomorrow's post,
Anything I could write seemed trivial against a backdrop of
death, hate, and the madness resulting from becoming ensnared in Middle Eastern blood-feuds.
I heard one word murmur within my mind: "Peace."
I wasn't thinking of inner peace.
I was thinking of what my writing friends might be interested in.
Perhaps the Great Mystery answered my question for me.
Don't expect any great wisdom here though.
I am not the Great Mystery. I don't have the job qualifications.
But I know that, like happiness, you cannot find peace by looking for it.
Like happiness, peace of mind is a by-product of living not its goal.
Be true to you:
When we practice congruency, we behave similarly to the way we feel and think.
When the way we see ourselves and the way the world sees us is the same, we are practicing congruency.
Problems arise when we see ourselves one way
(for example, as a loving mother)
but behave in ways that are at odds with how we would like to see ourselves
(for example, neglect our children because we are too busy).
Finding ways to keep our inner ideals and the way we behave similar is one of the keys to peace of mind.
Peace on the battlefield:
It is easier to be at peace when we listen to beautiful music, play with our pets,
walk through undisturbed nature, and step away from the world.
But Life is a harsh mistress.
She draws you back into the chaos of conflicts with bosses, spouses, children, bills, ill health ...
the number of enemy troops you face sometimes appear endless.
Each battlefield we find ourselves on contains a lesson that will keep us from worse ones
if we but learn it correctly.
Look for that lesson.
Perhaps it is only to take ourselves not so seriously, to learn to laugh at ourselves
(we will never run out of material!),
to learn that some battles are not worth the collateral damage,
or to find we should not fail to plan unless we plan to fail.
Failure has negative connotations, but actually, everyone fails.
How can you improve or learn anything if you never fail?
A healthy attitude towards failure encourages bravery.
It’s not you that is the failure, instead it is what you tried that failed. There is a big difference.
Listen to the Wake-Up Call of Loss
To lose something we had taken blithely for granted is jarring.
It should alert us to look for all the other blessings in our lives that really are so precious.
Those who hurt us have taken enough of our time. Why invite them along in your thoughts for the rest of the day?
They have to live in the world they make for themselves with their thoughtless natures.
Forgive them, release them from the obligation they owe you, and you will find you have released yourself.
Hate is like drinking rat poison, hoping the rat will die of it.
Think Outside of Yourself
Each person you pass or meet is fighting a battle no one knows anything about.
Be kinder than you might be inclined to be for that reason.
Learn the Power of a Smile
Whenever you are laughing or smiling, something interesting happens.
Not only does something happen on a chemical level to make you feel better,
but it also stops all stress and negativity from entering your psyche.
A simple smile can make such a difference.
‘Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.’