Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Meditation, Psychology, Thought | Posted on 11-30-2016
Tags: 3 Principles, addiction, Anxiety, Transformation, Wellbeing
[Jill’s Note: If you prefer to listen rather than read, please scroll to the bottom of this post for the audio version.]
There is nothing better than the feeling of peace.
Which is why we spend every moment of every day attempting to find it. Peace is like a homing device that’s beckoning us to come closer. It’s a sense of calm neutrality. It’s true happiness. In his new book, Michael Neill calls it “The Space Within.” And in Dicken Bettinger and Natasha Swerdloff’s book, they call it “Coming Home.” Anita Moorjani might call it “Heaven on Earth.”
Regardless of what you call it, peace is the feeling we all strive for–whether we know it or not.
Our non-stop peace-seeking mission is why we do everything we do. We believe we will feel better in the doing of it. Or the having of it. Or the drinking or eating of it.
While searching for peace sounds like a good idea (and it is), it’s also the root of all our addictions. So much so that life in general, is one ginormous addiction. In other words, we seek peace throughout the natural course of our day, then become addicted to those things that seem to provide it to us.
We have a couple of glasses of wine and our problems seem to disappear. But it’s not just mind-altering substances that we crave to make us feel better. Even our most seemingly benign habits are an attempt to find inner peace. Mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. TV. Shopping. Hanging out with friends. Work. Sex. Music. Sleeping.
While none of these are inherently bad (and many are really good!), when we believe they are giving us peace, there’s the potential for them to take over our lives. Feeling crappy? Go shopping. Worried about something? Eat a pint of ice cream. Stressed out? Have sex.
For a little while we feel better.
Unfortunately, that easy peaceful feeling only lasts so long.
None of our habits and addictions will ever give us the lasting peace we truly crave. And many are destructive over time.
If only we knew we had it backwards!
While it looks and feels like the stuff and people and food and drinks are what give us our peaceful feelings, they’re not. Which is good news because we’re not at their mercy like we thought we were.
What nobody ever talks about is that our feelings of peace are only ever generated from within ourselves. And not only that, but those feelings are there for the taking at any time!
Peace is our true nature.
So now you may wonder, “If this is true then why don’t we feel peaceful all of the time? Or even most of the time? Instead, it seems like we generally feel the opposite of peaceful.”
Sadly, that is the case. Most of us are walking around feeling so stressed out we can’t fathom how peace could be somewhere within us. Plus everything we’ve ever learned from society tells us peace comes to us through outside stuff.
We simply never knew peace was inside us–not out.
Put another way, if we were blindfolded and someone put a pile of money in front of us for the taking, it would go untouched. Without anyone letting us know it was there, right in front of our face, we simply wouldn’t know. We’d have no idea that it was available to us.
It’s the same with inner peace.
When we don’t know it’s there and accessible to us at any time, we don’t grab hold of it. And yet we still could. With or without the drink. With or without meditating. With or without our habit of choice.
We have the potential to be at peace regardless of our circumstances.
The only reason this seems hard to believe is because our world and culture tell us otherwise. We’ve been brought up to believe that other people and things give us peace and take peace away. As long as we believe our good and bad feelings are at the mercy of what’s happening around us, we’ll continue to be a slave to our addictions.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Here’s how to find and gain access to your inner peace:
First, entertain the idea that peace truly does reside within you and is in fact your natural state.
Next look for examples in your life where it looked like other people or circumstances were giving you peace or taking it away.
Then ask yourself a few simple questions:
Is there a way to see it differently?
Would every single person in those situations feel the same way?
For example, let’s say shopping is your feel good habit. Is it the shopping itself that relaxes you? Does shopping really have that power? If it were the shopping, then wouldn’t everyone who shopped feel peaceful? Personally, I detest shopping. So I know that one doesn’t automatically create peace!
If it doesn’t work for everyone, it can’t be our habit that gives us peace.
Then what is it?
It’s a change of thoughts.
Or more accurately, it’s that we have fewer thoughts on our mind while engaging in our “happy habits.” With less on our minds, our natural inner peace is allowed to to bubble up to the surface.
But for thought, there’s only peace.
The more we understand and believe the truth in this, the less need we have for our “feel better” habits and addictions. (I can personally attest to this as far as drinking alcohol and having addictive friendships are concerned.)
Our inner peace is there for the taking.
It’s our birthright. It is within us regardless of our circumstances.
I hereby give YOU permission to access yours at any time. Don’t listen to society that tells you we have to be stressed out during the holidays. Don’t listen to the world that tells you we have to be scared about its horrors.
None of it has the power to take away YOUR peace.
It’s only your thoughts that try and convince you otherwise.
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