Seeking Inner Peace
There are so many ways to improve your outlook on life that it is virtually
impossible for me to list them all here for you, but in general, there are a few simple tips I can give you that have made my own personal enjoyment of life increase exponentially.
These are not extremely difficult things to do, solving advanced math problems or rocket science is difficult, finding peace should be simple.
It just requires you to honestly look at yourself and the situations that affect how you feel and making the choice to let events enhance your life not harm it.
These are three simple practices I have implemented in my own life that have made living a much more enjoyable experience and I think you might too. I almost guarantee it. Really it is all up to you. The steps are acceptance, forgiveness, and peace, and you are on your way to happiness. If you want to be.
1. Acceptance is Not Approval
The first thing you have to be able to experience is acceptance of all that has happened. This was a difficult one for me personally because I always believed that by saying I accept a situation, that I simultaneously admit the situation will never change and acceptance is not that.
Acceptance does not mean approval, consent, permission, authorization, sanction, concurrence, agreement, compliance, sympathy, endorsement, confirmation, support, ratification, assistance or even liking whatever it is you are accepting it is simply saying, “it is what it is, and what is, is what is.
Popeye believed the same thing, “I am what I am.” and so does Patriot Coach Bill Belichick when he analyzes a game, “It is what it is.” Until you choose to accept things as they are, realizing and identifying the situation accurately, you will never be able to develop a plan to overcome an obstacle and learn what you need to learn and grow from the experience. Acceptance is the first step, and the most important because if you never start a journey you will never get to the ultimate destination.
2. Forgiveness Will Set You Free
Step two in this search for self-discovery is forgiveness. Forgiving someone for doing something that hurt you or someone you care about can be very difficult to do because we all internalize things that happen to us and take them personally,
but to quote an ancient Chinese Proverb, “Anger is a hot rock that burns the one who holds it.”
To me, this means that the heat of anger, disappointment, jealousy, whatever negative emotion you associate with the actions of somebody else, you have to forgive, and let go in order to move on with your life.
I also have learned that you don’t have to make your forgiveness known to anyone other than yourself. You don’t have to have a ceremony, a rite of passage or even talk to anybody. All you have to do is forgive whoever you have to in your heart and you will find you are on your way to finding peace.
If you don’t believe me, try it. Just think about a person who you feel has done anything, big or small to hurt you, then accept whatever the situation is, and then forgive them for whatever they did or you perceived them to do, truthfully and wholeheartedly and if you are sincere you will start to feel relief almost immediately.
You can let all of the foolishness of life, and the anger that you are carrying around because of the actions of others, and experience a growth giving an opportunity to become a better version of yourself. You can even forgive yourself, and probably that is one of the first places you should start.
Whatever shortcomings you have had, mistakes that you have made, dreams you left unfulfilled, goals you haven’t reached yet, whatever is angers you about yourself, forgive yourself for being human and accept what has happened.
You will find the road that leads you where you want to go will appear to you almost magically. Forgiveness is simple, but it is never easy because we as people tend to hang on to things and internalize them and they become a part of who we are.
Then when you go to forgive them and let them go you fight against it, because these situations have become a part of our identity, they have become who we are, rather than something that happened to us or something we did. Forgiving everyone is what I advocate and moving on to a better place.
3. Peace will Find You
Thirdly, if you follow these two things you will find the third almost without any work, it will come naturally to you like an inevitable turn in the river you are riding on, you will encounter peace.
With peace will come freedom from the thoughts that you have been carrying around with you. It is as simple as thinking: I accept that experience, I forgive that experience, I am free. This is where positive thinking will start to emerge in your life.
It was explained to me that just thinking positive thoughts at the exclusion of bad thoughts is difficult to do because you have been having those negative thoughts all your life, whatever they are.
My parents didn’t pay enough attention to me, I am poor, I am always treated poorly in relationships, I am poor because that’s all I deserve, when you accept your thoughts as what they are and forgive them, these negative thoughts are not ignored but rather transformed into thoughts of a positive nature. I have found that when this happens I am happy most of the time. Peace is just another word for experiencing an inner happiness about who you are, where you have been and where you are going.
So give this process a try, accept a situation that has hurt you and all the people involved. Forgive them, all people do crappy things because they are people and it’s not personal, they are just trying to live their life and you will find a feeling of peace and understanding. Accept yourself and others for who they are and move.
Quotes About Inner Peace:
“The self is not the individual body or mind, but rather that aspect deep inside each individual person that knows the truth”. – Swami Vishnu Devananda
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. If you let go completely, you will have complete peace.” – Ajahn Chan XX century Buddhist Monk
“Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment” – Lao Tzu
“When there is light in the soul, there is beauty in the person.
When there is beauty in the person, there is harmony in the house.
When there is harmony in the house, there is order in the nation.
When there is there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.”- Chinese Proverb
“If you lose touch with nature you lose touch with humanity. If there’s no relationship with nature then you become a killer; then you kill baby seals, whales, dolphins, and man either for gain, for “sport,” for food, or for knowledge. Then, nature is frightened of you; withdrawing its beauty.”- Jiddu Krishnamurti
“To achieve the strength we need in living, an inner life must be lived apart from the world.
To wear the whole world as a loose garment is the key to serenity.
Loosen your hold on earth, its cares, and its worries.
Unclasp your hold on other people and material things.
Let go of resentments, they hurt only you, not the person, persons or institutions you resent.
Relax your grip, and the tide of peace will flow in.
Live in today, not in regrets over what happened yesterday, not in the fear and apprehension of what tomorrow may bring.
The past is gone as a cloud of dust.
Tomorrow may never come.
We are faced with living just one day…today.
Try to relax, rejoice, and be glad in it!” – (Unknown Author)
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. – Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emperor)
“Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach me” – Rene Descartes
“A man who is master of himself can end a sorrow as he can invent a pleasure. I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” – Oscar Wild
“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
“Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so” – William Shakespeare
“Dwell as near as possible to the channel in which your life flows.” – Henry David Thoreau