Peace Unto You

Just as I was about to wrap up our call with the customary “love you,” my girlfriend dropped a bombshell. We’ve known each other for a long time; her history was imprinted in the fabric of my mind and heart. Knowing this, she trusted that I’d be there with her as she grappled with a choice she regretted and an inner peace she felt she was losing. 

The specifics are personal, and, for you and me, don’t matter. But inner peace – a priceless sense of being right with oneself – always does. There’s no place for smugness on this one. It’s deeply unsettling to be “off” on the inside; our foothold feels shaky, and we no longer trust ourselves to be and do what is right and true for us. It’s scary.

The beautiful thing is that we can work on building, strengthening and regaining the inner peace that is ours alone to nurture and cherish. Here’s how:

Self Acceptance…And Pursuing Your Best Self

For as long as you have breath, you are a valuable work in progress. Instead of fumbling your way through unmoored, be steadfastly intentional about defining your best version of you, the one you’re inspired to aspire to. That definition emerges when you take a deep look at your core spiritual beliefs, the values you live by and by simply envisioning the unique “footprint” you will leave behind in this life.

Peace With The Past…And The Next Right Thing

Forgive, forgive, forgive. Acknowledge that you did the best you knew how to do. Then, turn your forgiveness outward. Instead of holding onto hurt and resentment, consider what you can do right now that is aligned with that “best self” you aspire to be. Someone hurt me a long time ago, and I felt betrayed. But, in the here and now, I focus on how I can extend forgiveness and love to this person, even though that trust still bears a small crack. By keeping the focus on my choices, I reinforce that I can trust myself. That gives me a great deal of inner peace.  

Clean Up What You Can…And Learn From Your Mistakes

Take responsibility for the hurt or harm you may have caused. Be deliberate and generous in owning your actions and sincerely apologize. Actions like these are cleansing; they replace angst, hurt and ugliness with a fresh sense of inner peace. But, don’t stop there. Take a good look at the whys behind your actions. Start to understand what triggers you to be and to act in ways that don’t support the vision you hold for yourself. 

Pause When Your Buttons Are Pushed…Then Choose Your Response

And, when a button of yours is pushed, rein in your habitual reaction by creating a space before responding. Maybe that means not texting someone back immediately or saying “I don’t know how to respond. I need to think about what you just said.” Remember that we can’t take back what we put out there, so speak mindfully. Consider your truth, the other person’s feelings and perspective, as well as your relationship. It does take practice! 

See Perfectionism For What It Is…And Then Decide Where You Will Put Your Energy  

I’m taking a hard stance on this one – inner peace is unattainable when grasping for the carrot of perfectionism is in play. Why? Because there is always something better just beyond what you are trying so hard to attain. More wealth, more beauty, more success, more health, more happiness, more, more, more…don’t allow yourself to be snared in this trap. Instead, get clear about what is enough and how you want to be in this life. By acting accordingly, you will find peace.   

Observe How You Cope…And Embrace Positive Coping When Things Get Tough

No one can completely dodge difficulty or sorrow. Those experiences come with this human journey no matter who you are. So, take some time to consider your current coping mechanisms and how they have served you. And then – because you have a clear sense of the person you aspire to be – do a little housekeeping. Focus on incorporating more positive coping skills when the ride gets a little rough.


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