How do you get your place of inner peace? After all, we each have it within us if only we get quiet enough so we can hear its gentle whisper.
Last week when I was reading from an Eckhart Tolle interview on Oprah.com, Tolle described some common barriers we humans experience that prevent us from being at peace:
- We mistake peace for unconsciousness.
- We mistake peace for happiness.
- We keep looking ahead (or looking back).
- We strain away from the present moment.
- We don't fully trust . . . yet.
I have written about the first four in the past few days. The first, we mistake peace for unconsciousness, reminds me of my behaviors and patterns that have kept peace at bay throughout my life; the second, we mistake peace for happiness, reminds me that peace is always available regardless of my emotional state; as a matter of fact, it is when I have had great emotional challenges or crises when I have gone deep within myself to find the most comforting kind of peace: the peace that passeth all understanding. The third and fourth bullets help me remember that peace can only be found in the present moment.
As for the last bullet--we don't fully trust . . . yet--I interpret that to mean a couple different things. One, we don't trust that the Universe has our best interests in mind to help us learn the lessons that are for our highest good; another way of saying it is that we don't trust the pain or the challenges as part of the larger landscape of our plan--we only trust when things feel comfortable or happy. The result of this is that we try to control outcomes, people, circumstances, timing, emotions, money, etc. This control is what messes with our minds the mos and can lead us into a super tailspin.
Truth be told, we cannot control anything but ourselves. When we finally can begin to trust, we can let go and let God--one of the tenets of the 12-step program. This total surrender is one key to living a peaceful life, and the Serenity Prayer can offer us a tool for letting go.