“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.”
~ Marcus Aurelius
I always thought that inner peace could only be achieved by monks and saints. That you had to dedicate your life to a spiritual path and couldn’t integrate with society for this peace to endure. It was only until I practiced self-awareness and became wiser with time that I came to a deep understanding that inner peace is a choice.
Prior to my discovery, I strongly believed that inner peace could not last and, personally, inner peace was always transitionary. My life was like a roller coaster; whilst I tried to remain at the top, the ride would often buckle from the weight and I would find myself falling to the bottom. Contrariwise, it was’t just a personal experience that had me so skeptical of inner peace. It seemed that the rest of the world could not find it either. Apparent when reading the newspaper, or turning the T.V on and watching the news- those dreadful stories that would pull on your heartstrings: the breaking news of a missing child’s body being found, an economic disaster or a country left paralysed after a devastating earthquake that killed thousands. Constant tragedies and negative energies leaving the world in a continuos spiral of chaos.
It has taken me an abundant amount of time to really understand and obtain inner- peace. I admit that i’m still learning this way of life. Whilst I’ve never been a very emotional person, I still find myself in a see-saw of up and down and feeling a lack of serenity in my heart when particular events present themselves.
Here are the five changes I have been applying to myself in order to achieve an inner-peace that is not only experienced but will endure.
Holding on to the past will never be beneficial for anyone. I can assure you that it will only result in a black hole of regret and dwelling which could be followed by anger and resentment, amongst many other negative emotions. Sometimes, we know we are dwelling but don’t know how to let go or forgive.
You must first make the decision to let go. If you don’t make this commitment, it’s very likely that you could end up self-sabotaging any efforts to move on. Then find a safe and effective way to express your pain to get everything out of your system in one go. It’s recommended to vent to someone or journal all of your thoughts and feelings. This will help you understand what specifically it is you’re hurt about. You must then take responsibility and stop victimising yourself. Whilst being the victim may feel good, (it’s you against the world!) most of the world doesn’t care. This is not to be perceived as though your feelings are inadequate. Yes, you matter but your feelings are only one part of life which is a complex, messy thing.
In every moment, you have a choice to continue feeling bad about your situation or to start feeling good. You need to take control of your own happiness and stop reliving the past. It is unchangeable and one day you may regret not living in the present. Find forgiveness or you will never be able to move forward.
Believing I am loved
This is something I have unfortunately struggled with for most of my life. It took me some time to understand the negativity my childhood was riddled with and how it lead me to feel unloved and worthless. It was a long, challenging journey of building my self esteem and understanding my own self worth before I uncovered the truth.
Believing you are loved comes with the knowledge of who you are, not judging yourself or others, for mistakes you make and changing any negative perceptions of the reflection seen in the mirror.
The most effective way for me to practice self-love was looking after my health. Becoming vegan lead me onto a path of compassions and is an incredible lifestyle that allows you to live by your morals and give love to the world which, in return, gives you love back.
Exercising promotes confidence and overtime brings a euphoric feeling of unconditional love from something greater than ourselves. Above all, it is learning that you are enough and just because you weren’t shown love as a child or have lost yourself some time else, does not mean you don’t deserve to be loved. Learn to love yourself for it is the greatest love of all.
I previously written about changing your thoughts from negative to positive. The problem for many is the belief that our thoughts can not be controlled.
Start challenging the way you are thinking. Is it even aligned with how you are truly feeling? It is important to pay attention to each thought that passes by. If you do not test what swarms in your mind, you accept that you are your thoughts and give them permission to shape your beliefs about yourself and your life.
Through observing your thoughts and understanding if they are aligned with the way you feel or simply looking with a different perspective, you can choose to be more positive and find balance within yourself. You reach a deeper level of self-awareness.
A Higher Self
Connecting with a more developed version of yourself is a sure way of creating inner-peace. Your higher self is always watching over you- a conscious being that helps you walk in the right direction. Many call it intuition or your authentic self. Regardless of the title, it is your spiritual self, forever tied to you and there are many ways to strengthen this connection such as learning to trust yourself and listening with love to your inner voice.
This connection means you are developing a strong sense of self-awareness and learning to stay calm and centered, demolishing ego in the process. It is about building a good relationship with who you are. Though it might feel non-existent, it is the part of you that believes in you, fully accepts you and is your biggest supporter. Overall, your higher self looks to find what is right and what is good whether this be in another person or an event.
To connect to your higher self, start by setting five minuets of your day and find a peaceful place to relax. Close your eyes for a moment and dig deep inside of yourself, allowing yourself to be fully present. Now ask yourself what your higher self wants you to know and then start writing everything down. Read this message back- you may be very surprised to see such positivity. Now keep this piece of paper safe and read it again each day until you have created a strong connection with your higher self. Listen to those positive voices and let them shine bright, blinding all the negative energy that threatens to demolish your authenticity. You can’t find peace if you are at war with yourself.
Accepting what has happened and the root cause of your distress, is a vital step in finding inner-peace. Living in denial will only rob you of your joy and will stop you from ever moving forward. Perhaps you need to take responsibility of the past and your emotions. Fighting things you can not control is wasted energy. Yes, the world is a harsh and cruel place but this is a part of life and is unavoidable.
There is only so much power we have to shape the future but fundamentally, there are forces at work that can never be tamed. You must find acceptance that you can not control everything; there will be bad days just as there will be good days, some things can be changed and some can not. Why concern yourself over the thoughts of others when you don’t even know for sure, what they are thinking? Why worry over the weather when it can not be changed?
Once you open your mind to acceptance and understand that worrying over the things that can’t be changed deprives you of any peace, you will instantly be relieved of stress and anxiety. Allow things to be.
Inner peace is not a state of weakness or passivity but a true freedom that releases negativity. Whilst it may come harder for some, it is entirely obtainable. However, it will only happen if it is met with open mindedness and advice such as the above is applied.
Peace of mind is a state of tranquility which brings forth happiness, tolerance, self control and inner balance. You develop an inner strength and wisdom that no external conditions can disturb.
Have you found inner peace?