Have you ever felt as though you are passively watching your life rather than participating in it? Have you caught yourself looking for the “hidden cameras” of what must be the hit, new reality TV sensation and not your actual “real” experience?
If your neck is now slightly sore from unconsciously nodding to these two queries, rest assured kind reader: You are not alone.
On this day of remembrance for an integral “influencer” who encouraged all of us to “dream” about the possibility of peace, I hope this post will inspire you to have faith that a peaceful possibility to any situation in your life is just around the corner.
The Portability Of Inner Peace
Not so long ago, in only 96 hours, time “passing” took on a new definition. Some moments it appeared to lag with agonizing cruelty and other instants fleeted far more quickly than my preference. The only constancy: I had no control.
What made these 96 hours significant you might ask? Well, it was within these hours, four shy of 100, that I realized the secret to experiencing inner peace. It is simpler than you might think and more challenging to apply than you could possibly fathom.
Is your curiosity piqued? I know mine is… and I am the author of this cryptic cobweb of words. All kidding aside though, let’s delve deeper into the concept of inner peace.
Since the beginning of recorded oral stories and storytelling, humans sought to comprehend the enigmatic state of “inner peace.” All types of spiritual thought leaders espoused various paths to find it. The irony is that we only must “find” something if we “lost” it in the first place.
Furthermore, the only way to loose something is if we already have it. Therefore we’ve already experienced “being” with it as long as we conclude that we are now seeking to “find” it. Do you follow that logic, kind reader?
It is imperative to suspend any disbelief you might possess for just a few more moments in order to fully understand those clarifying 96 hours that I mentioned earlier. Are you with me? Great, then take a deep, gentle breath and let’s continue.
The first few of the 96 hours began with pain. The word has so many different definitions. For the sake of this article, we will agree that “pain” equates with perceived suffering.
I chose the term “perceived” because of the subjective nature of all pain. What is “excruciating” for me might or might not be true for you. It is all a matter of perspective that determines our perception.
Now that we are on the same page as to what pain entails, let’s revisit those first few hours.
Pulsing without respite, my stomach twisted and gurgled in dread of the sight my eyes encountered. Time slowed even though I silently beseeched it to pass: Before me sat the slumped spirit of my formerly nearly unwaveringly steady mentor. Fear crept over her pained face as she caught whiff of my apparent apprehension.
How could this be? When did this start? Why is this happening?
These three questions flooded my inner thoughts with relentless rapidity. I felt as though the floor underneath my feet opened and that I would surely tumble into the baneful bowels of the earth below. Nothing could undo what I had witnessed; there was no “reset” button to take back what my ears had heard.
There was no denying it: my mentor’s seemingly sudden spiral into the abyss known as “age-related adjustment issues” had begun.
The only question I could muster to my shaken self, “Now what?”
In a single instant, time went from lightening fast to molasses slow. It seemed to oscillate between these two states without rhyme or reason. Over the course of the next 72 hours, the extent and severity of my mentor’s condition revealed itself.
One moment she would be present, thoughtful and calm. The next, she could fly into a rage over a seemingly insignificant “trigger.” She consumed vast amounts of sugary foods and snacks without restraint or awareness.
The rapid cycling of moods and emotions left her ravaged with regret that quickly gave way to massive moments of torrents of tantrums and rants. She sheepishly shared the psychic pain that plagued her mind. Her head ached and she desperately dug through every nook and cranny of her life for any remedy or relief.
Perching precariously on the edge of a “stability” ball that I convinced my mentor and her husband to purchase in that past year for core strengthening, a perfect picture and vision of “peace” emerged within my mind. Shaking my head to clear this utopian fantasy from my consciousness, attempting to re-focus on the presenting problem, a keen awareness effortlessly emerged: It is within chaos that the true quiet exists.
Peace occurs when we choose to “resist not” and “cling not” to what is happening in our lives. It only is present when we let go of what “should” be and instead fully embrace what “is.”
When we let go of the past and cease dreading the future, we access the present moment. We learn to pass through time rather than denying its existence.
If I desired to help my mentor, I needed to forget “who” she was for me in the past and to let go of who I feared she would become in the future.
To fully be of the highest service to my love for her, I needed to be with her as she is in this moment and only this moment.
Everything had to transpire exactly as it did, when it did. There are no “accidents” when it comes to joining with another out of love rather than fear.
Recalling all of my past studies in emotional intelligence, mindfulness and conflict resolution, allowed me to kindly participate without an investment in a specific outcome unfolding. Above everything, I had one overall goal: Empowering my mentor to thrive at her highest possible level.
In 96 hours my mindset went from fear to faith. Of course it flip-flopped several times back and forth between the two states of being, but in the end, I chose to remember the ever-presence of peace.
What is the seemingly “secret” formula to inner peace? Well kind readers, it all comes down to the following: Choose to “resist not” and “cling not” to the passage of time.
Instead, walk gently and “go kindly” through time with the faith that you can be peaceful in any instant that you choose to be fully in the present.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr kindly urged us: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
How would you define your personal formula to “inner peace?” Was there a defining moment for you to devise this formula or was it a series of events?
Let’s use 2015 as the catalyst to begin the lifelong journey of desiring to be present and to mirror Dr. King and leave a legacy of kindness. I’d love to hear from you.
A similar post was originally published via LinkedIn