Friday, 8 July 2016

Finding Inner Peace Before Outer Peace

During the time that I've spent facing my personal challenges and figuring out how to deal with them, I came to a realization about peace. It came to me as a question: How can I want the world to be at peace if I'm not even at peace with myself? Seeing all of the bad things that have been happening in the world within  the past few years (and even longer than that), I have wondered what it's going to take for the world to be peaceful. Of course, you can hope for peace or you can create it, one little step at a time. However, you need to find inner peace first. How can you speak of peace if you haven't even found peace within you? If you haven't learned to control your own challenges? If you are going through tough times? Maybe spreading peace in the world will help you with your inner peace but shouldn't you focus on your inner peace before outer peace? Shouldn't you find peace within yourself? Shouldn't you learn to be at peace with yourself? Shouldn't you create peace within yourself?

Sure, you can smile and pretend that everything is okay while you try to spread peace and help other people but all that you'll be doing is wearing a mask if you don't address what you're going through and do something about it. Wouldn't you like to be at peace before you start spreading peace? It's just like that idea of self-love: How can you love other people if you don't even love yourself? By finding inner peace, we learn how to be peaceful and I think that's the first step to making the world peaceful. Be a peaceful person. Show peace. Feel peace. Be peace. Then you can create peace outside of yourself.

Now, I admit that I still have some work to do on myself. I want peace in the world but I am still in the process of finding peace within myself. Writing this post, I felt like maybe I am not qualified to write it since I am still in the process of doing exactly what I say should be done. But then again, I need to write this to get these ideas out and start acting on them. I need to address the fact that I am still working on finding inner peace so that I can begin to find inner peace. And then I can work on taking steps to do my part in making the world a more peaceful place.

My problem is that I bottle up a lot. I bottle up emotions, thoughts, worries, and fear. I bottle them up until I finally just break down. My mind is not always at peace. It's a crazy storm that just keeps going, as well as growing bigger. It makes it hard to concentrate. It makes it hard to relax. If I address what I'm feeling and learn how to deal with it in a healthy way, then I'll be able to focus on other things. I could try to focus on other things but it would only be temporary. My restless mind will just be there waiting for me to get back after the distraction.

People find peace in various ways. Meditation, yoga, belief systems, art, and music are just some of the ways that people relax and deal with whatever life throws at them. Our mind can be both our best friend and our greatest enemy. It can pick us up or it can throw us down. We need to learn how to control it. We need to use it to our advantage. We need to use it to make ourselves better people and make the world a better place. We need to remember to keep working on it and then, someday, we will feel enough inner peace to be able to spread our peace further out into the world.

Wishing you peace,

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