We all want to feel at peace. Yet, society has a long-held trend to run headlong into battle. We value a fight in the modern world. The fight against… (fill in the gap.) We feel justified in our anger, our rage, our upset. Aren’t these necessary components of a battle? Why can’t the world be the way I think it should be? Why won’t people behave the way I need them to behave? So I can feel at peace! Surely, if people, places and things could all line up with my idea of a perfect world, I might finally feel at ease.
I grew up in a loving but chaotic home. I developed a hyper-vigilance that made me hyper-aware of how others felt around me. As a child, this served me well. I learnt to read the emotions of the adults; were they in a state of merriment? Or would they be quick to anger? I learnt to gauge people because it kept me safe.
However, as an adult, this hyper-vigilance wreaked havoc in my life. I could read people and ignorantly thought I could ‘fix’ them, and sometimes I could. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make everyone happy all the time. My sense of peace rested on the outside world being how I wanted it to be. Selfishly, I needed everyone around me to behave the way I wanted them to because it made me feel safe. But, it was useless. Ultimately, I was left feeling powerless and unsafe. I was fighting with the way things were.
The facts are, we have no control over anyone or anything. Who am I to decide how others should feel, act, and behave? Any control we might think we have is but an illusion. Through our own act of will, we are powerless to change the will of another. It wasn’t until I realised that a spiritual approach was my only solution to finding peace. I had to let go of what I could not control, which was everything and everyone outside of myself and embrace what I could, myself.
It doesn’t mean I give up and stay passive; quite the opposite. I still work towards what I feel strongly for, but my peace isn’t attached to the outcome of my endeavours. I don’t have to wait for the world to get better so I can feel better. All I know for sure is that if I focus my attention on peace, I’m heading in the right direction.
Have a peaceful holiday season, dear one!